If you’ve ever woken up with a kink in your neck or experienced soreness after sitting in one position for too long, you truly understand the importance of spine alignment. These classic examples that we all suffer from occasionally help illustrate the delicate balance required in the spine to stay pain-free and comfortable with activities of daily living.
The science of pain
Pain is a complicated sensation. At a micro level, neural pain receptors (or “nociceptors”) detect noxious stimulation in the form of temperature, mechanical forces, and chemical changes in the body due to inflammation or cell damage. On a macro level, how the signal from the stimulated nerve is perceived is almost completely dependent on upper levels of neural circuitry in the body such as the spinal cord, brainstem and brain itself.
Below are some examples of what affects our pain perceptions:
Mood and stress levels
General health status
What other sensations the body is experiencing
Past experiences related to pain
How Spinal Alignment Effects this Balance
Pain is essential for alerting us to activities and postures that can cause damage to the body’s tissues (slouching, acute injuries, etc.). However, unfortunately, the neural pain pathways can easily get overstimulated when there is too much stimulus overloading the system. Excessive stimulation can come from problems like chronic inflammation, mood disorders, and overall poor health.
One often overlooked issue with pain perception is the health and effectiveness of the actual neural pathways. Nerve health and energy flow are important for the body to get proper pain signals.
Nerve energy is ultimately affected by spinal alignment. When the spine is out of alignment due to chronic poor posture, injury, and other imbalances in the body, this can lead to major dysfunction with these pain pathways. Plus, the longer pain and discomfort go on, the more severe the issues can get. Suddenly, pain and discomfort become the norm. This affects the quality of life and leaves sufferers feeling hopeless and frustrated.
Chiropractic Care and True Pain Management
Many treatments focus on masking the pain an individual is experiencing rather than addressing the underlying problem of spine misalignment. When the true root cause of pain is not addressed, nerve energy and function of the entire body becomes compromised. Ultimately, this can lead to a cycle of chronic pain and dependence on less than ideal pain management options such as medications and invasive injections.
Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is a results-oriented, science-based approach that focuses on getting to the root issue. Through gentle and effective techniques such as manipulation, exercise programs, stretching, education, and more, pain can become manageable or even nonexistent.
There are only a handful of CBP certified practitioners throughout the United States. They pride themselves in providing an alternative treatment for pain that works without dependence on medication or “band-aid” approach. When the body is aligned and the spinal nerves are healthy, pain perception can be radically changed for the better.