What does a chiropractic adjustment do?

By Jamie Elze D.C

When our body is feeling pain or achy there is usually a deeper issue going on, there is dysfunction. A common dysfunction that occurs in almost everyone is the formation of adhesions.   Adhesions affect the muscle, joint, and restrict our movement which in turn causes a muscular imbalance and pain.

 So let’s start with the muscle.  Our muscles have thousands of little fibers within the muscle.  When a muscle is tight it begins to trap chemicals (non-inflammatory and/or inflammatory) and normal metabolic cellular waste products.  After a few days adhesions have started to form.  The image to the left is a visual of adhesions forming within the cells of the muscle.   Think of adhesions like a thick web forming along the muscles and joints.  Stress, muscle spasms, imbalances, trigger points,  muscle sprains and decreased range of motion are some possible outcomes from these adhesions.

As time passes the adhesions get worse, and work its way to the joint causing decreased joint mobility.  Inadequate joint movement limits the amount of nutrients the joint is getting INSIDE the capsule.  Proper movement provides a pumping mechanism of fluids nourishes and bathes the joint.  This synovial fluid keeps the joints healthy and decreases the amount of friction between two joints. What does that mean? It means it keeps us mobile and pain free!  Also, if a joint is not moving and not getting the fluids it needs it’s basically on its way to drying up and becoming arthritic.  The image you see above are two spinal joints forming adhesions on the right joint capsule. This process can work its way up the spine. Some possible outcomes from this besides pain can be increased stress, decreased range of motion, joint degeneration, inflammation, and nerve impingement if the problem is not addressed.                                   

So how can a Chiropractic adjustment help? An adjustment addresses both the muscle and joint problem by stimulating what is called a Spinal Cord Reflex Arc. To keep this simple, a chiropractic adjustment breaks through the adhesions then stimulates a reflex in the muscle tendon which sends a signal to the spinal cord, then back to the muscle belly to relax.   After the muscles relax the trapped chemicals are released and proper flow within the cell is restored. The body is then performing on a more optimal level .  This means relaxed muscles, happy joints, and less stress on the body.  Who doesn’t want that?

Dr. Jamie Elze is a nationally certified massage therapist and has been providing bodywork for nearly nine years. She worked with Chiropractors throughout the bay area before deciding to go back to school and pursue her doctorate.  She is board certified in Chiropractic and can provide physical therapy in conjunction with chiropractic services at SenSpa on Tuesdays and Sundays.   She has worked with various ailments of the body and caters every treatment to meet each individual’s needs