You may remember a few details about how your nervous system works from your school days. But in case you don’t, I’ll share a quick overview. This vital system in your body controls almost everything you do, both the things you do intentionally and those you do without thinking, like breathing.
The body’s nervous system is broken down into two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS also contains your autonomic nervous system (ANS).
- The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord. It is responsible for processing information and sending signals to the rest of the body.
- The PNS is made up of all the nerves outside of the CNS. It is responsible for sending signals to and from the CNS, as well as controlling the muscles and organs of the body.
- The ANS is a part of the PNS that controls involuntary functions, such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. It is divided into two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
Chiropractic Care and Your Nervous System
Because the spinal cord plays an integral role, chiropractic care can be very important to the overall health of your nervous system. The Gonstead chiropractic approach focuses on the spine and its relationship to the CNS and PNS. Gonstead chiropractors believe that subluxations, or misalignments of the spine, can put pressure on the nerves and cause pain, dysfunction, and other health problems. By adjusting the spine, Gonstead chiropractors aim to relieve pressure on the nerves and improve the overall function of your system.
There is some evidence to support the claim that chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on the nervous system. For example, a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments can improve nerve conduction velocity, which is a measure of how well the nerves are transmitting signals. Additionally, a study published in the journal Spine found that chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain and improve function in people with chronic low back pain.
However, more research is needed to confirm the long-term effects of chiropractic adjustments. If you’re considering chiropractic care, it is important to talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s right for you.
Getting an adjustment is more than just pain management. Health of your nervous system should be a priority.
Here are some references that you may find helpful:
- “Chiropractic and the Nervous System: A Review of the Literature.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2004.
- “The Effect of Spinal Adjustments on Nerve Conduction Velocity.” Spine, 2001.
- “Chiropractic Care for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010.