Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is chiropractic care the missing link: How our musculoskeletal system affects the way we think, move and feel part 2

For the next portion of this series I am going to try to provide some insight in how the musculoskeletal system plays a role in our overall health and how it may be affecting other processes in the body that would normally be assumed as being separate.

I will provide some cited studies to help to validate some of these claims as well as draw some of my own conclusions as well. I am not a doctor so obviously I can't endorse this shit or should be taken as medical advice in any way. So don't think that by me saying getting a massage or a chiropractic adjustment may help in alleviating symptoms of lupus or some shit as the cure for a chronic disease.

My credentials as far as medicine is nil I have zilch and as a trainer I have none either. What I am is an athletic person who trains (well trained until I got hurt) hard and researches like a mad man on these topics in both the conventional and esoteric realms of health.

Also to note, despite the title and the last post having the word chiropractor in it know that this is an article about the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors and P.T.s (Physical Therapists) are probably the most well known and most utilized specialists in these fields. I am merely trying to highlight the importance of maintaining this shit.

So go get a massage, run a fucking mile or lift something heavy because in doing so you are going to greatly improve your quality of life.

O.k. now on to the article.

In my last article  Is chiropractic care the missing link: How our musculoskeletal system affects the way we think, move and feel part 2 I gave a brief introduction into the history of chiropractic medicine. I also provided some statistics about hospitalization as well chronic disease type issues in regard to making one your primary care physician.

So obviously I am an advocate of going to the chiropractor, especially since the one I am seeing has been the only one to offer any sort of real solution to me losing feeling in my arms besides checking my cholesterol (obviously cholesterol is something that has been written ad nauseum in the paleo community so I will not bore you).

However, since actually beginning to find slow and gradual relief from going to the chiropractor who was helping to correct my atlas bone at the base of my skull as well as helping to correct my hips and work out a pinched nerve to name a few I got curious about how other things are affected in regards to the spine, muscles and joints.

For me my case was that structural issues are affecting my nervous system. But what else can they affect?

Well how about allergies and asthma? As it turns out your spine and it's alignment plays a role in this. As for the mechanism that it is working under I have no idea. I'm not a doctor but for whatever reason by receiving adjustments you can essentially relieve, improve or eliminate allergies.

I was having some digestive issues prior to getting my adjustments and targeted it from a gut healing protocol perspective via bone broths and fermented food like in the GAPS diet. Was this approach necessary? Who knows but I have been seeing improvements since I started going to the chiropractor that otherwise were non-existent to prior. Maybe both things helped but like I am trying to stress things are connected.

text via chiropractic method
In a study published in The Internet Journal of Orthopedic Surgery in 2004 titled Relationship Between Vertebral Deformities and Allergic Disease, researchers drew a clear connection between disease and vertebral structure. This study emphasized that there exists a relationship between disturbances in sympathetic nerves and visceral disease. More specifically, the researchers highlighted what chiropractic has long known to be true - that structure is highly related to function.

It was demonstrated that vertebral misalignments of the thoracic spine (what chiropractors would refer to as hypokyphosis or akyphosis) were present in 98% of a total of 1028 patients who suffered from allergic disease. Now this is interesting on two levels. First this study clearly looked at the spine from a structural point of view and found a very high correlation between disease and what they call "spinal curvature disappearance". Next the researchers go on to reveal that the misalignments were very consistent in each individual, occurring at the T8 - T10 level of the thoracic spine. This is important because it links a specific area of the spine with a given disease process and set of symptoms.
What we have at this point is a set of symptoms or allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and bronchial asthma, that are shown to directly correspond with what the chiropractic sciences term a subluxation (flexed or laterally flexed vertebra) of a hypo-to-akyphotic thoracic spine. That is, asthma and auto-immune inflammation is directly related in this study to subluxations of the thoracic spine. For chiropractors and students everywhere, this is an important reinforcement of the importance of chiropractic coming from scientific research. But wait, we are not done yet.
Excellent so we are seeing how the spine plays a role in the relation to other disease states. Where chiropractic medicine most suffers is the fact is that it is not backed up by decades worth of collected data and studies being done using the scientific method.

The profession for the longest time has been operating strictly under anecdotal evidence and the many skeptics out there seem to really try to invalidate this profession maybe out of fear but also probably because of the very little data there.

That being said it is good that there is starting to be published records validating spinal adjustments as well as things like massage and even some of the more woo-woo things as acupuncture to validate the efficacy of such practices

So that's great we know that chiropractic care seems to help with things like allergies and what was nice is that the study wasn't from a journal that was tailored for chiropractors which if you are a skeptic would probably use that as an argument against such a practice.

Nevertheless the next few things I am going to talk about will probably inevitably be dissected and torn apart by skeptics because I am going to cite the journal of chiropractic medicine quite a bit. Of course who better to conduct research in regards to the profession then the people who stand to gain the most credibility from.

So how else does our musculoskeletal system play a role in other states of our being. Well we know that it can play a role in regards to allergies and asthma but what about something like memory and learning.

It seems fairly obvious that if you aren't in chronic pain that you will be able to focus better, but for the sake of making my argument valid I will provide an example of a small boy who with chiropractic care improved his cognitive abilities.

According to a study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine called Applied kinesiology methods for a 10-year old child with headaches, neck pain, asthma and reading disabilities  with basic chiropractic care they were able to improve his symptoms.

Hmm... so I am not someone who is going to say that there is a cure for autism but I know that there have been studies showing a linkage to casein and gluten intolerance in children with the disease and how it can improve the condition. This kid probably wasn't on the spectrum but is it possible that there are some sort of musculoskeletal related issues going on there as well. Obviously, everything is case by case but here is the abstract from the study

text via journal of chiropractic medicine



The purpose of this case report is to describe the chiropractic care of a 10-year-old boy who presented with developmental delay syndromes, asthma, and chronic neck and head pain and to present an overview of his muscular imbalances during manual muscle testing evaluation that guided the interventions offered to this child.

Clinical Features

The child was a poor reader, suffered eye strain while reading, had poor memory for classroom material, and was unable to move easily from one line of text to another during reading. He was using 4 medications for the asthma but was still symptomatic during exercise.

Intervention and Outcome

Chiropractic care, using applied kinesiology, guided evaluation, and treatment. Following spinal and cranial treatment, the patient showed improvement in his reading ability, head and neck pain, and respiratory distress. His ability to read improved (in 3 weeks, after 5 treatments), performing at his own grade level. He has remained symptom free for 2 years.


The care provided to this patient seemed to help resolve his chronic musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain and improve his academic performance.
O.k. great so obviously they helped this kid out academically but what about professionally. Can chiropractic care play a role in the performance of the business professional.

Hmm... I think it stands to reason yes it can. Mostly because if you can retain information better and focus better you will probably also do better in a work place setting assuming you aren't an asshole and aren't incompetent. So for the 44-year-old business professional who meets with clients day in and day out it stands to reason that remembering names and traits of these people will only help to improve your rapport with them.

O.k. I may be stretching on that one but like I said I was going to draw some conclusions here. I know for me personally I was suffering some brain fog and it was mostly because of the agonizing pain I was in. I went from someone who felt like they had smoked too much weed to a person who was hyper focused and had taken three pills of piracetam for focus mind you I was drug free.

Anyways I know largely my claims and my connections are strictly my opinion,

This article is looking like it is going to stretch a little longer then I thought. For the next article in this series I plan on just listing off a bunch of things and really shorten up the intro. Ciao!

works cited


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