Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Chiropractor didn't do that?

Like all health professionals we get stuck in our opinions as to the cause of dysfunction and what best approach to take when treating.  Most experienced practitioners understand that things change over time and we learn that not all our patients appear to respond equally to the same stimulus or treatment.  Why would it matter what treatment you use?  Surely it works the same way every time.

Treatment choices are numerous and confusing but thankfully science and research has given us clues as to why they might all be effective.  Physically based treatments involve applying a force to certain body structures.  Some of these structures (particularly the spine and neck) are the most sensitive structures to movement (especially rapid movement) and many of the issues we see involve to some degree a weakening or lack of responsiveness of the brain-muscle system which keeps us upright and oriented and any reintroduction of normal movement will potentially help.  It also appears that small rapid movements send a bigger 'signal' to the brain.  Slow muscle stretch for example sends a signal without a sharp high peak in electrical activity.  In effect the brain can be re sensitised to joint sensation using a variety of movement and sensation based approaches.  The clinical challenge is to determine what 'variety' will help which individual.