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Nervous System Interaction in Chiropractic Care


One of the more complex aspects of chiropractic care is that it has the potential to improve health outcomes across various different body systems. It is commonly assumed that chiropractic care is solely enacted to improve our musculoskeletal health and correct the misalignments in our neck and back. However, it is important to acknowledge the implications of chiropractic care in other parts of the body.

The main body system that chiropractic care influences is all subdivisions of the nervous system. The central nervous system, comprised of the spinal cord and the brain, is one of the most obvious sources of interaction with chiropractic care. The vertebrae and the cartilage discs of the spine protect the spinal cord and the massive nerves it is made of.

If there is an injury or condition that is contributing to the spine being misaligned or in a compromising position, then electrochemical signals are not being sent to the fullest of their ability. If this process is not occurring for even the slightest amount of time, there are countless other areas in the body that are not functioning properly. Additionally, there are different other subdivisions of the nervous system that control normal biological process, namely blood flow. Blood flow is crucial to musculoskeletal health as well and if the nervous system is not maintaining the proper level of communication, the possibility for serious injury increases.

This is where chiropractic care comes in. A study that divided 20 individuals into two groups of ten, one group with acute neck pain and one group with no musculoskeletal symptoms, looked into the impact of chiropractic care on parasympathetic nervous system activity.

This part of the nervous system is involved in controlling the response mechanisms in biological processes such as digestion, urinations, and other process that involve the cycling of signals. This study focused on heart rate variability analysis to monitor the parasympathetic nervous system activity in both groups and found a degree of parasympathetic “dominance” in the group with neck pain receiving spinal manipulation therapy.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Sue Clark

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