Ever thought about how your brain knows what’s going on in the body? As most people know, the nervous system is comprised of the brain, the spinal cord that runs down inside your spine and the nerves that branch out between each vertebrae and go to every single cell in your body. It is this connection between the brain to the body via the spinal cord and nerves that your brain knows what’s going on and also tells it what to do. But what is really going on in the joints of the spine?
There are very specific nerve fibers in every joint that have a specific purpose. They are called proprioceptors and mechanoreceptors. The proprioceptors monitor the position of every joint and tell the brain where it is in space. The mechanoreceptors monitor the motion of the joint and tell the brain where it is going relative to the information the proprioceptors give. They are intimately tied together and essential for proper posture and movement.
Interestingly, stimuli to these nerve endings is monitored via a feedback loop with the brain. Each region of your body corresponds to a specific region in the brain. If there is motion in the body, the brain is stimulated in that region and it develops and becomes reinforced and fine-tuned. If there is lack of motion, i.e. a subluxation, then there is no stimuli to the brain. If this continues for a period of time, that area of the brain will start to coalesce and shrink in functional capacity. This time frame is recognized to be as little as 24 hours! This phenomena of adaptation is known as neuroplasticity.
What does chiropractic have to do with this?
Further, it is with these mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors and the feedback loop with the brain via the spinal cord that our body learns and maintains posture and motion patterns. Thus, it gives us the opportunity to change and correct posture, structure and movement patterns when we provide proper input to these nerves within the joints. This is where the chiropractic adjustment comes in and has a direct impact on the nervous system. The nerve endings are most responsive to specific frequencies (12-14 hertz or cycles per second). Hence, this input frequency, when applied in a vibratory fashion, stimulates the nerve endings within the joints and re-establishes the feedback loop to the brain in such a way as to teach and train the brain to be aware of its current posture and position and learn or ingrain it. This is known as spono-learning or spine learning.
Enter: The Arthrostim®
As many you are aware, we have started using a new piece of technology called an Arthrostim® . This along with new evaluation techniques allows us to create the aforementioned input frequency at the joint level, stimulating the nervous system and teaching it to accept new postural and movement patterns. It does this with minimal resistance and discomfort to the patient and without the use of major force to the spine. It produces rapid thrust and recoil ranging from a few ounces up to forty (40) pounds of force at a frequency of twelve to fourteen cycles per second which is known as the low beta somatomotor rhythm and matches that which is associated with the joint nerve endings. This rapidly supersaturates the region being adjusted with a hyper-barrage of vibrational stimuli at the aforementioned force and frequency. The energy continues to vibrate through the joint to the surrounding tissues. This releases associated trigger points and sites of muscular spasm while inhibiting pain receptors which will provide the relief and corrections that are desired.
Many of you have experienced this new technology and we are looking to expand its utilization. Look forward to upcoming articles about the Arthrostim® and its many additional applications to help you achieve an elevated status of health and wellness.