The best study that has ever been done for chiropractic efficacy with regard to treating low back pain was done by Kilkaldy Willis. The subjects in this study did not have compressive neuropathy, but they had something that was bothering them and were not getting better no matter what they tried. 81% of them got better from chiropractic thrusts. I stated it that way because quite often in the rigged scientific studies designed to discredit chiropractic, mobilization by physical therapists is what was performed in the study when they say chiropractic doesn’t work. But in this study where it did work with the study being about chiropractic treatment, the spinal manipulation performed was by actual chiropractors. No chiropractors or patients were harmed during the making of that study.
These patients were seriously chronically disabled and even failed previous chiropractic care. What made the difference in success this time? Why did this group of chiropractors succeed where previous chiropractors had failed? These chiropractors were not any different than other chiropractors, but they had the advantage of being in a research study. That means they did not have to worry about their patients calling them crooks for wanting to see them a lot. How much did these guys want to see these chronically disabled, on the scrap heap of history patients?
What made these guys work the miracles on so many of these very bad cases was that the patient was seen every day for three weeks. Not for nothing, but when I came out of school and insurance companies would pay for the patient’s care, I got a little nervous, as in shaking in my boots, telling a patient that they needed to come 3 times a week for 4 weeks. I didn’t know any of this back then, because it wasn’t available yet, but the old time chiropractors down the block from me got better results than I did and they didn’t have a problem telling people to come in daily for weeks. They didn’t know this research either, they just had a stronger commitment to chiropractic principles than I had. So while as a society we all worship the God of Science, a lot of people suffered needlessly because even chiropractors did not have enough faith in what they were doing. Side note, to this day, if someone argues with me I let them win, which means they have a higher probability of suffering needlessly.
Back to the science. Mechanoreceptors are in the disc, spinal ligaments, muscle spindles, and when they get injured a feedback loop is created that locks up the joint. We need to break that feedback loop and chiropractors are these loop breakers. When we do this we not only break up the feedback loop, but we decrease the sympathetic tone. That means we are helping the patient not suffer from the number 2 cause of disease, stress. The cortisol levels in test subjects dropped 30 units just from a chiropractic adjustment, without the use of drugs that have wild side effects.
The ratio of your Pro and anti-inflammatory chemicals is also being affected by these physical adhesions of the spinal joints. Again, right now, the common denominator for most diseases is inflammation. Cytokines, interleukin cells are involved in the inflammatory response. When we are constantly inflamed, our bodies get really angry at us and decide to eat itself alive, also known as an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease is at epidemic levels as I type.
This is a quote from my previous article about why you should want a chiropractic adjustment and I forget where I got it from. It is now time to think about your brain and a concept called proprioception-the deceptively simple notion that you have to know where different parts of your body are at all times. Your body is aware of exactly where each limb is in space every second, because each muscle, tendon, ligament and joint sends thousands of nerve fibers back to the brain through the spinal cord. Those fibers signal every nuance gradation of contraction, stress, muscular tone, orientation, position and movement at every moment of the day. Your brain keeps careful track of the location of every muscle and joint in your body every second, all day, every day, waiting for you to need the information.
A subluxation takes that neurological information of proprioception out of the system, which has deleterious global effects. It is critical to have this information and if we have a subluxation you are robbing the brain. It’s not nice to rob your brain because that is what keeps you healthy. Chiropractors add to your brain. Medicine subtracts from it.
When I went to school we were taught that the disc does not have a nerve. In 1992 spine magazine had a diagram of the intervertebral disc. The job of the nerves is to inform the central nervous system of change in spinal alignment, spinal position, and spinal motion.
Irvin M. Korr, PH.D. physiologist out of Princeton wrote about proprioceptive and somatic dysfunction. That is the basis of chiropractic. He came up with the idea a 120 years after Chiropractors, but was able to prove that the spinal cord is the organizer of disease processes. He discovered scientifically that hyperactivity of sympathetic innovation was a common factor in disease. Chiropractors calm down sympathetic tone by improving mechanical reception in spinal joints. We improve mechanical integrity in the way we live and function in gravity. We call this nerve interference a subluxation.
Now how much would you pay? Don’t answer yet. There is a study titled, cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain. It is known as the Ogura study and it was to test what Korr was saying. It demonstrates that chiropractic is good for other things than just pain. Mrs. Jones wouldn’t you want your brain to function at a healthier, a higher level. Oh I understand, you just want me to rub some tiger balm on your boo boo.
When we improve mechanical reception we are not just inhibiting sympathetic tone and the firing of pain. We are not just lowering catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Having high levels of these stress hormones alters epigenetic methylation, shortens telomeres, and causes vasoconstriction. It reduces ATP. Reduces healing. Reduces sodium and glutamate pumps. Left to it’s own, the body creates immunosuppressive reactions from that stress. It increases oxidative stress. Sympathetic nerves are an integrative interface between two super systems, the brain and the immune system. Sympathetics control immunity, which is about where we started off with this story.
This is the end of this 5 part series. In a nutshell, chiropractic is good for your health.