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Salem, Virginia 24153


The Neuroscience of Chiropractic

November 7, 2017

In today’s world, the chiropractic paradigm is most commonly associated with neck and back pains. Decrease muscle spasms, restore vertebral range of motion and voila – pains diminish and quality of life increases – “health” is restored. The missing factor in this line of thinking is the conscious awareness of what is occurring during the chiropractic adjustment to provide us with the results. Enter chiropractic from a neurological approach and you can begin to understand the benefit for babies and children, specifically those who have been labeled with a neurodevelopmental challenge (ADHD, SPD, ASD).

To begin, virtually 75% or more of the children brought to our office are there because of injury to their cranium or spinal column from in-utero constraint, traumatic birth (physical stress) or both. There are many research articles that link the association between in-utero constraint and a traumatic birth process with neurological distress. In turn, this means these kids begin life with compromised immune, digestive and nervous systems. Stress within the nervous system is referred to as a chiropractic subluxation and comes from three main sources – physical stress (birth, frequent falls, etc..), chemical stress (environment, food, house-hold cleaners), and emotional stressors (home, school, social life).

Subluxation begins when vertebral joints lose proper positioning and alignment and leads to abnormal movement and motion – what we refer to as Dyskinesia (kinesiology component). Loss of normal positioning and movement leads to improper afferent input (dysafferentation) due to a loss of proprioceptive and mechanoreceptive input through the dorsal horn and into the CNS (cord-brainstem-amygdala-hippocampus-thalamus-higher brain centers and cortex) which leads to an increase in nociceptive input (stress). This is turn causes a neurological sequelae into dysautonomia and dysponesis (abnormal output of energy and nervous system organization).

Subluxation also leads to imbalances within the musculature of the upper cervical spine and surrounding tissues. What is more, upper cervical subluxations greatly effects the neurological control of the CNS, especially the brainstem and it’s role in regulating autonomic function (autonomic control of organs, tissues and glands – especially from vagus nerve origin). The subluxation, among other factors, leaves their autonomic function (dysautonomia) in a highly sympathetic (fight/flight) state which is associated with lower immunity, hyperactivity, anxiety and social challenges as well as decreased immune and digestive function. Sympathetic dominance has also been linked to an increased inflammatory state which may begin the autoimmune cascade that is commonly associated with allergies, eczema, asthma and even ADHD later in life.

It is not uncommon to see a “cascade effect” of symptoms in children who’ve experienced early neurological stress. Though every child may not experience all or any of these symptoms, a typical “cascade effect” looks like this – traumatic birth (breech, c-section, vacuum, forceps delivery --> colic/acid reflux --> frequent ear infections --> frequent antibiotic use --> difficulty sleeping --> frequent and long-lasting meltdowns --> difficulty concentrating --> social and emotional disconnections from reality --> receiving a diagnosis.


The greatest reward for understanding why neurodevelopmental challenges happens is having the ability to know what to do about it. Removal of vertebral subluxation through specific and focused chiropractic adjustments gives you or your child the ability to get their health back...even better, get their LIFE back!


#happyfamilieshealthyfutures #restoringhealth #providinghope #timetotakeaction

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