Chiropractic is the most widely used natural health care in the world. Chiropractic works with the inborn intelligence of the human body to promote ultimate levels of pain-free health and wellness..
The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Just as a simple cut self-heals because the intelligence of the body stops the bleeding and builds new tissues to close the wound; so to does this intelligence self-regulate each and every body system. The heart, lungs, liver and every other organ are constantly controlled and regulated through the body’s nervous system.
The nervous system is the master control system of the body and is responsible for maintaining the function of every muscle, organ, cell and tissue. Interference in the nervous system causes the body to lose its ability to self-heal and self-regulate.
The brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves make up most of the nervous system. The skull houses the brain while the spinal cord runs down the inside of the spine. The nerves branch off the spinal cord and exit from between the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). If the vertebra misalign, or stop moving correctly, they put pressure on the nerves causing interference with the functioning of the nervous system. This interference can decrease the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate and often times also cause pain. A misalignment of a vertebra is called a subluxation (see below).
At the Sidoti Center we are experts at detecting and correcting subluxations of the spine. Once corrected, the nervous system begins functioning properly and the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate is restored. For more than 115 years chiropractic care has successfully eliminated pain, restored function, and resolved countless conditions such as asthma, migraines, stomach problems, etc., without the use of drugs or surgery.
A subluxation occurs when one or more vertebrae of the spine misalign and create pressure on the spinal nerves exiting from between the vertebrae. This pressure or irritation creates nerve interference causing a malfunction of the signals traveling over those nerves. This reduces the function of the nervous system and interferes with the body's ability to self-heal and self-regulate. Since the nervous system is responsible for maintaining the function of every muscle, organ, cell and tissue of the body, countless health conditions can result.
As Shown on the below chart, the nervous system controls every organ in the body. Depending on the spinal level, a subluxation can create potentially devastating effects on the organ being supplied by the pressured or irritated nerve. As an example, the lower back contains the nerves that control the intestines, kidney, bladder, uterus or prostate. A subluxation in the lower back could cause interference with the nerves leading not only to back pain, but more importantly, intestinal conditions (constipation, colitis, etc), bladder or kidney conditions, uterine conditions (cramps, pregnancy problems, etc) or prostate conditions. Correcting the subluxation allows the nervous system to begin functioning properly and restores the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate.
Over time, subluxations that are left uncorrected can lead to spinal degeneration and arthritic conditions. The below x-ray images demonstrate the various stages of spinal degeneration.
This is a side x-ray view of the neck with the patient looking to the right. This x-ray is demonstrates a "near normal" spine. Notice the normal forward curve of the neck which helps absorb shock. Notice how the disc spaces between each vertebra are thick and even. Also notice how the front portions (right on the x-ray) of each of the vertebrae (called the 'body' of the vertebrae) are fairly square with clear and well defined borders. This type of arrangement is normal in the neck. When subluxations occur and are left uncorrected, ongoing relentless changes occur that result in damage to the structure and function of the spine along with nerve damage and the resulting problems caused from improper nerve supply.
Phase One Subluxation Degeneration is seen in subluxations that have been present for up to twenty years. This phase is characterized with a loss or change in the normal curve in the spine. On this example you can see that the normal forward (lordotic) curve is lost. This spine even has developed a reverse curve in the neck. The disc spaces have also begun to exhibit a slight change in shape. One good point is that the bodies of each of the vertebrae (the square part in front) still exhibits clean clear borders. Segmental motion may be abnormal but overall motion is probably not affected. Chiropractic reconstructive care for a phase one can take from 6 to 18 months. More than 80% of people with Phase One Subluxation Degeneration have no pain. Therefore, if left uncorrected, phase one continues to progress with time until it eventually reaches the next phase.
Phase two subluxation degeneration is normally seen in subluxations that have been present between 20 and 40 years. This phase has some of the same characteristics of the previous phase including a loss of normal curvature and position as well as an alteration in segmental motion. In addition, spines with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration many times show a reduction in the patient's range of motion in that area. X-rays of a phase two begin to show calcium changes or buildup at certain levels of the spine. These changes are sometimes called by many names including spurs and arthritis. Disc spaces between the affected vertebrae are noticeably narrower and may appear to be flattening out. Although most people with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration may not exhibit any symptoms, some may start to feel stiff or achy. Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase two ranges from 1.5 years to 2.5 years. Again, if Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration is left uncorrected it slowly advances to the next phase.
Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is caused by subluxations that have been continuing on for between 40 and 65 years. This phase has all of the attributes of the previous phases, only worse. The curvatures are abnormal, the disc spaces are vastly decreased and changed. Calcium changes on the spine are abundant in this phase. Normally, people in phase three have a restricted range of motion and probably exhibit symptoms of some kind. In phase three the vertebrae show obvious changes and mutations in shape. Projections made of calcium, sometimes referred to as "spurs or lipping", can be readily seen on x-ray. Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase three ranges from 2.5 years to 3.5 years. This does not mean that at the end of this time that any or all of the calcium changes will be gone. In many instances the body adapts to the presence of the calcium and positive changes can only be measured from a functional standpoint. As before, if Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is left unchecked it slowly advances onward into the next phase.
Phase four subluxation degeneration is seen with subluxations that have been raging on uncorrected or altered for over sixty five years. Phase four is a grave condition that will negatively affect the patients longevity and quality of life. The massive amount of neurological damage caused by years of subluxation that have lead to phase four are probably taking a serious toll on this person's health status. X-rays in phase four show serious severe structural changes. Vertebrae exhibit massive calcium changes, disc spaces appear blurred, and the bones themselves appear fused. In this scenario the patient will have a severe restriction of range of motion in addition to probably a number of other health issues. Reconstruction may not be possible in phase four, but care can be directed to some reduction in subluxation with the goal of improvement in the quality of life remaining. Patients in Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration have a serious situation both structurally and neurologically, but they are certainly not beyond hope. Many patients in phase four report significant improvements in symptoms, conditions, mobility and quality of life.