The goal of the clinician should be to reestablish inhibitory control since prolonged out of control sympathetic drive is what creates disease states. Whether the chiropractor understands this or not doesn’t matter, because their treatment does exactly that. We lower catecholamines, stress hormones with an adjustment. Sadly, the scientist Walter B Cannon who came up with that dies and the next scientist to promote chiropractic without knowing it is C.Chan Gunn. He wrote the treatment of chronic pain- intramuscular stimulation for myofascial pain of radiculopathic origin. O.K., not a best seller, but really good if you are a chiropractor looking to convince people that you are not crazy.
Here he is, a medical doctor describing chiropractic nerve interference. I can’t tell you how many brutal arguments I’ve had with medical doctors over the past 35 years with them insisting that there is no such thing as a subluxation-nerve interference. It turns out that you can have nerve interference without spondylosis,(severe degeneration/arthritis) and the real doctors, the R.D.’s call it supersensitivity. Pain is determined by the nervous system firing up too much. More nervous system tone produces more pain, more spasm, more sympathetic tone, more production of catecholamines. This is all bad. The number two thing that will shorten your life is stress, which is increased sympathetic tone. According to all medical textbooks, the number one cause of all disease is a lack of oxygen. Not in all medical text books is that this lack of oxygen is mostly due to faulty chest wall mechanics, which medical science has discovered that chiropractors fix in humans all day long.
When the spine is stiff, not degenerated full strength kind of stiff, the sympathetics become disinhibited, meaning you get increased sympathetic tone, increased stress. The Windsor study in 1977 studied the autopsies on 50 humans. If there was compressive neuropathology there was no associated visceral disease. That is the opposite of the hard bone on the nerve theory that we were taught in school. But and a very big but, there was visceral disease. He documented 139 diseased visceral organs in 50 humans. He traced the nerves back from the diseased organs to the sympathetics. His conclusion was that the sympathetics have increased tone when regions of the spine become stiff. The spinal segments don’t have to break down completely and fall on top of the nerve.
If you are a patient of a chiropractor, when he explained to you what he found on your X-rays, what you should have heard or taken away from that conversation was something very simple, don’t let your spines get stiff because old age and pathology will follow. Not so fast you physical education enthusiasts.
You can’t stop your spine from getting stiff by going to the gym everyday. While chiropractic offices are full of iron pumping people, their spines were locking up and might have been the reason they showed up in the first place, but more likely than not, they were just feeling your average amount of pain, even though they took care of themselves. But the real reason their workouts are not helping completely is because the segmental movers of the spine are not under voluntary control. That means you can’t move one vertebrae to the right and the one below it to the left. The nerves that control those spinal intrinsic muscles do not go to your volitional center of your brain, the frontal lobe. Those nerves are powered by the subconscious part of your brain, the cerebellum. If not, you would lose your mind trying to figure out how to stand up against gravity. Those spinal segments need help. They always needed help. Think back to those cavemen drawings of them walking on each other’s backs I mentioned above. Is there any science that could possibly back me up on this?
Manohar Panjabi, a brilliant researcher discusses positive feedback loops. He hates Chiropractic and has nothing positive to say about us, but he describes how we function in gravity, the function of our mechanoreceptors, which is a chiropractic speciality. Humans don’t want to have positive feedback because that will kill you. For example if we were bleeding badly, a positive feedback system would allow us to continue to bleed. Luckily we work on negative feedback loops, so when that blood is not returning to the heart, our body tries to figure out why it is not getting it’s normal amount of return blood flow and it starts to do things to remedy that situation. If we weren’t getting some negative feedback, we’d just keep pumping until there was nothing left to pump.
If spinal mechanoreceptors are not working right, then all kinds of downstream neurological consequences occur including visceral dysfunction and disease. When the spinal mechanoreceptors are not working they send out spasm signals, which keeps the spinal joints from moving correctly, which creates more spasm. This is a positive feedback loop and you need a chiropractor to break up that not so nice reflex. In neurophysiology there is something called the Law of denervation supersensitivity and it is not exactly common sense, but let’s make some sense out of it anyway.
What is not well known is that when a nerve is below average and is not functioning properly, it becomes supersensitive and will behave erratically. This principle is fundamental and universal, yet is not at all well known. This is known as Cannons and Rosenblueth’s Law of denervation supersensitivity. This is chiropractic nerve interference being described by scientists not realizing that they are describing chiropractic nerve interference. When you lose mechanical integrity one of the most noted things that happens is that you open up pain gates. That means you get more pain. Improved mechanical integrity closes the pain gates. This became a more popular idea when it was republished in 1965 by Melzack and Wall. The gate theory of pain is still accepted to this day, so for the people that hate chiropractors for no particular reason, just get over it.
End of Part 4 Stay tuned for Part 5