May23ThuMay 23, 2019
Thankfully, for the health and well being of humanity, the impact of spinal function on total body health is becoming more and more understood across laboratories, research centers, doctor’s offices, and hospitals across the globe. Yet, many still remain unaware of the significant contribution the spine plays on overall health and well-being for all ages and genders.
The human spine is the human spine, and as you can see in the diagram above, it's pretty simple and straightforward to understand that the spinal cord part of the central nervous system lies inside the bony structures of the spine. Many unwanted symptoms people experience, including but not limited to neck and low back pain exhibit a direct and indirect connection to the spine.
A Doctor of Chiropractic's role in healthcare is to help people's health improve mainly through the process of detecting and correcting vertebral subluxations (aka mechanically dysfunctional spinal joints). The detection process is done mainly through hands-on palpation but can be confirmed with visual observation, radiological imaging and other tests. The correction process is unique to Chiropractic and that is the Spinal Adjustment - which is the movement of the bones of the spine to restore optimal spinal joint health.
Current research provides a thorough explanation for how a Chiropractic spinal adjustment influences many aspects of human health and performance. The process begins with the brain. An intimate connection exists between the health of the spine and the function of the brain mainly via cellular motion sensors known as mechanoreceptors. Spinal mobility and alignment contribute to the function of nerve signals into and out of the brain. The brain directs all function of the body and altered spinal health leads to a change in brain function. The overall impact radiates throughout the body through a series of very specific biological cascades and events.
Back in the early days of last century, when Chiropractic was an emerging field in natural health care many doctors debated the connection between the spine, nervous system, and body function.
In the early 1920s, a medical doctor named Henry Winsor heard that Chiropractic patients were experiencing significant health benefits with problems seemingly unrelated to the spine. Dr. Winsor investigated and found that many Chiropractic patients experienced benefits beyond improved treatment for back or neck pain. Concerned and skeptical with what he was hearing, Dr. Winsor set out to disprove the theory in which a Chiropractic adjustment could affect any area of the body outside of the spine and so he conducted his own research.
Dr. Winsor dissected the spines of cadavers with the intent to prove no correlation between the health of the spine and organ disease. He received permission and access to dissect and analyze the spines of 50 human cadavers. Not only did Dr. Winsor find a link between the health of the spine and the function of organs, he noted a direct correlation between diseased organs and the alignment of their spine in specific areas. He found links between a curvature of the spine in the area of the nervous system which controlled that specifically diseased organ. Diseased organs drew conclusive connection to misalignments in the spine which would have altered function in the nervous system supplying communication to that organ.
These findings were revolutionary in understanding why so many patients experienced health benefits and improved health in specific organs after receiving mechanical adjustments to the bones and joints of the spine (known today as a Chiropractic adjustment). A 100% correlation occurred between the abnormal alignment and condition of a specific area of the spine and the nervous system which supplied the corresponding organ.
The same doctor which set out to debunk the truth about Chiropractic and its influence on organ function proved the opposite conclusion. Chiropractic helps family members of all ages experience greater function and a higher quality of life without the use of drugs or surgery. Even though it happened almost a hundred years ago, it the finding are still valid and this study continues to play an important role in helping explain the necessity of having the best spinal health possible.
Chiropractors are spine experts. Everybody has a spine. So it's worth seeing a Chiropractor for a spinal health checkup!
Material for this newsletter content sourced from: Dr Dan Sullivan, DC and Dr. Dan Murphy DC
Scientific Reference: "The Evidences of the Association, in Dissected Cadavers, of Visceral Disease with Vertebral Deformities of the Same Sympathetic Segments" Medical Times, November 1921, pp. 1-7 Henry Winsor, MD