MEET THE DOCTOR
The spine is made up of 24 individual vertebrae. It starts below the base of the skull and end in the centre between the hips. Although each vertebra is separate, they are all connected together by ligaments and muscles which enable the spine to function as one dynamic unit. In between each vertebra, there are cartilaginous discs which are there to help absorb shock, reduce friction between vertebrae and to allow increased movement in the spine.
Between each vertebra, there is a pair of spinal nerves exiting from the spinal cord. each one of the 31 pairs of nerves run the length of the spine and extends outward to form a complex network which ultimately supplies and influences every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
As a chiropractor, it is our job to evaluate the biomechanical structure of the spine, to ensure that each one of the individual vertebra are moving freely and are not displaced or fixed in anyway. Any such displacement or jammed vertebra can cause the spinal nerve that exits from the intervertebral foramen (opening), to become irritated either through direct pressure or through indirect stimulation/irritation.
Therefore any problem in any one of the vertebral joints can affect the related parts of your nervous system, which in turn can lead to such symptoms as pain in the back or neck as well as many other spinal problems.
WHAT CAUSES NEUROMUSCULOSKELETAL CONDITIONS
It’s as simple as a fall or an accident, lifting of heavy objects or even high stress levels. All of these can cause any vertebra to lose its normal motion. This can cause the joint to become jammed, which can further irritate both the joint and nerve. Irritation of these joints can result in spasm of surrounding musculature, causing a trigger point formation in a muscle. Irritation of the nerve may also result in pain in the vicinity of the joint or it can refer pain elsewhere in the body. Alternatively the nerve’s functioning may be altered causing an increase or decrease or decrease in nerve sensitivity.