The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls organ function and overall balance of the body. The ANS adjusts or modifies body function in response to things like stress, regulating the heart, blood pressure, and breathing, stomach function, salivation, insulin level, and sexual function.
The ANS has generally been divided into two parts, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the para-sympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is the bodies “flight or fight” mechanism, which kicks in in times of stress. The PNS is the “rest and digest” system, which is responsible for longer-term functions such as digestion.
These systems need to work in harmony and synergy with the SNS being something like a gas-pedal and the PNS being similar to a brake.
Your Spine and Nervous System
The spinal cord houses a critical portion of the nervous system with in a structure of vertebrae (bones) that are separated by flexible disks. This gives us a safe structure for our nervous system and mobility for our bodies. Nerves stretch from the spinal cord to organs, muscles and structures throughout the body.
Doctors of chiropractic theorise that changes in the spine and its surrounding structures may interfere with activity of the nervous system. Studies show that even a small spinal degeneration may harm nerve flow (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003;26:426-37).
Vertebral Subluxations & the ANS
Vertebral Subluxations are areas in the spine where bones are out of place or function is restricted. Investigators reason that subluxations can inhibit the autonomic nervous system and analysis indicates this can occur through activation of a specific neural pathway, derived from the gray matter of the mid-brain (Man Ther 2001;6:72-81). In most likelihood there are other pathways involved as well. Fortunately, your Gold Coast chiropractor can treat Vertebral Subluxations with safe and gentle chiropractic adjustments, which may assist the function of your autonomic nervous system.
Back Injuries and ANS
Common injuries linked to vertebral subluxation, including back injuries, may alter ANS function. One study compared six subjects with recent injuries to six subjects with no injury. Researchers detected altered ANS function in injured subjects and not uninjured ones. The researchers concluded that, “there appears to be a relationship between acute musculoskeletal tissue injury and the autonomic nervous system in human subjects” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005;28:44-51).
Headaches and ANS
The ANS also plays a role in other health issues related to vertebral subluxation including migraine headaches. In one analysis of 30 patients undergoing migraine attacks researchers used an electrocardiograph (ECG) to measure heart function. ECG results showed abnormalities during migraines, suggesting that disruptions of the ANS have effects on the circulatory system (Headache 2003;43:861).
What Does This Mean?
Preliminary research suggests that vertebral subluxations may impair ANS activity and chiropractic adjustments can facilitate ANS activity. Because the ANS is so important to organ function vertebral subluxations could be tied to a variety of organ issues. Therefore, chiropractic adjustment could be a treatment leading to the prevention and dissolution of such disorders.
What Do Scientists Say?
Additional research is needed, but there is mounting evidence that subluxations may trigger issues with organs and that vertebral adjustments may provide remediation. These conditions include hypertension, diabetes, infertility, asthma, and even bed-wetting (J Vertebral Subluxation Res 2009:1-5). “Studies [demonstrate] that spinal adjustments can influence various physiological parameters, such as HRV, blood flow, and blood pressure,” according to a recent comprehensive review (J Vertebral Subluxation Res 2009:1-5)
Come to Hinterland Chiropractic on the Gold Coast!
Hinterland Chiropractic utilises holistic and non-invasive methods of treatments to help our patients maintain the highest possible level of health including a strong, functioning autonomic nervous system. Our skilled chiropractors and their dedicated team will assess your overall health, lifestyle and environment. Working together we can find natural, holistic, and reasonably priced treatments for your individual condition.
See us today and receive a COMPLETE Consultation and Examination. Yours for ONLY $45! . Call us today on 07 5527 3133 or simply book your appointment online.