The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


23 Comments

What Happens When My Spine Goes “POP”?

This is a question we hear every day! There are many common misconceptions regarding the sound and sensation after an adjustment. Many people think the sound of an adjustment comes from bones clicking together against each other as they move. Some people use the word, “crack,” as in “getting my back cracked,” to describe this sound. Unfortunately, this
has probably scared off more than a few people from getting the Chiropractic care they need.

Joint Anatomy:670px-Crack-Your-Neck-Step-20

What really happens to cause the noise you often hear when you get adjusted? First, you must understand the structure of a joint. Where two bones come together, there is a smooth surface on each side, which fits very snugly so the bones can glide easily and freely. Surrounding the joint on all sides are ligaments that hold the bones very tightly together and keep the lubrication fluid from escaping. These ligaments form a tight capsule that seals off the joint from the rest of the body.

All fluids in our body have gases dissolved in them. For instance, oxygen is dissolved in the blood. The lubricating fluid of joints contains dissolved gases, which are primarily nitrogen. Whenever a stretch is applied to the joint, the ligaments which make up a joint are also stretched. This stretching causes the space between the two bones to get wider. The pressure, which is normally exerted on the joint fluid, rapidly diminishes. When you look at a soda water under pressure, it looks like regular water, but as soon as you open the cap and release the pressure, bubbles of gas start coming out of what seems like nowhere. This is because the gas stretched and released the pressure. The inert gas dissolved in the joint bubbles out of the solution and makes a popping sound similar to opening a bottle of champagne. This can happen with any joint in the body, especially the knuckles of the hands. After a joint has been “popped,” it takes approximately one half of an hour for the gas bubbles to become absorbed into the fluid again. That is why you cannot “pop” a joint two times in a row without waiting for a period of time.

Neurological Component:

Another neurological component to this popping isneurons that there are nerve sensors in our muscles, ligaments, spinal discs, and joint capsules. They are called mechanoreceptors, which sense proper position and movement of muscles, ligaments, spinal discs and joints capsules. Once this increase of pressure and bursting the bubble in the joint capsule occurs, the mechanoreceptors are stimulated and create a ripple effect on the brain to secrete endorphins into our bloodstream. Endorphins not only relieve pain but also bring about a temporary sense of well-being. Endorphins are a cluster of neurotransmitters which cause a reaction in the opiate receptors within the human body, which block signals indicating pain or stress to the brain, thus allowing for an overall analgesic effect. Some people get addicted to getting “cracked” in their spine and other joints because they are addicted to “crack!”

Restoration VS. Creating Instability

We know that people often times people want to get “cracked,” because they are addicted the endorphin response like literal crack addicts. At Zen Chiropractic Inc. we do not “crack” the spine with chiropractic care for that reason. At our office, we explain that when there is stress upon the spine and created instability in the segments of the spine, one of the segments will fall out of its original position. When the segment falls out of position the segment will compress the nerves and cause interference of the communication of the brain and the body. For Zen Chiropractic Inc. when we adjust the spine, it may make some noise but our goal is not about the “crack!” At Zen Chiropractic, an adjustment is about restoring the segment of the spine to its original position in the spine. When the spinal segments are restored to their original positions, the function and adaptability of the body will be restored.

Sometimes an adjustment will not cause a “pop, crack, or crunch” sound, which does not mean the adjustment was not effective. Research has shown that a joint space must open up approximately 40% to create the “popping” sound. When there is no “pop” it simply means the joint was not opened far enough to cause the release of gas, .but it may have OPENED ENOUGH TO RESTORE PROPER POSITION OF THE JOINT. When we adjust a joint, we are not trying to create a sound: we are attempting to restore the proper position of the joint. While a “pop’” is not necessary, when it does occur it means that the joint definitely opened up and moved a good 40%.

26real_450

If you are stretching or exercising and you hear a “pop” in your spine, then you have moved a joint. If you were lifting or bending in an awkward direction and you felt pain or discomfort, then something probably moved out of position that is very unstable and you need to be checked. If you are already getting chiropractic care and hear popping, cracking other sounds, then other segments besides the segments which were replaced are trying to replace themselves after the adjustment.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

More Energy with Chiropractic

More Energy with Chiropractic
Chiropractic: Bringing Out the Best in You
Fatigue is a Warning
Fatigue or low energy is a very common condition. It can range from awakening in the morning with a chronically tired feeling to a severe physical and psychological depression characterized by a total lack of pleasure or sense of fulfillment (anhedonia).
Fatigue is a warning: it is one of the earliest signs that something in our lives, physical or emotional, is not right.

Boredom

No baby is born bored. If anyone should be bored, it’s a baby! All a baby has to do is to eat, excrete and sleep. Babies are full of energy, excitement, and vitality; they are full of life. When a child complains that he or she is tired all the time, or bored, we know that something is very wrong.
A Big Mistake

What happens to our natural curiosity, sense of wondrous adventure, and boundless energy as we age? Why have so many adults lost, or rather, lost touch with, life’s excitement? What happens to life’s sparkle?

When adults exhibit chronic tiredness or fatigue, we don’t get nearly as concerned as when a child does—and that’s a big mistake. Life should be filled with energy, no matter what a person’s age—the biographies of many notable people teach us that well into their seventies, eighties and even nineties they are robust—full of lust for life.

The Causes of Chronic Fatigue

There can be many causes of chronic fatigue. They can be organic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and endocrine disorders; or emotional stress such as depression, anxiety or trauma. Chronic fatigue can be due to sleep deprivation; the adverse effects of prescribed, over-the-counter or illegal drugs; or an unhealthy lifestyle that doesn’t permit you to “catch up” with yourself. Others feel that chronic fatigue may be a nutritional condition that can be corrected with improved diet.1

Spinal Balance & Energy
A common cause of fatigue is an unbalanced spinal column. How? A simple analogy: If you were carrying a bowling ball, how much more difficult would it be to carry it at a distance from your body than at your side? Your head weighs about as much as a bowling ball; if your head is off-center, “carrying” it can exhaust you! Also, your 24 movable vertebrae, sacrum, hips and pelvis also need proper alignment in order to make efficient use of energy. A modest unbalance, for example, a “short” leg, could translate into a considerable amount of wasted energy as the hours, days, weeks and months add up. Have you ever had your spinal muscles examined? At our office, we do a Static EMG scan that will measure the amount of contraction from both sides of the spine for minor to major spasms. You can not feel or see it but if you get it measured, it will be clear of how your body wastes a large amount of energy.

”Nerve Energy”

Energy flows from your brain and spinal cord through your nerves and other tissues and then flows back to the brain and spinal cord. A healthy spine and nervous system keep your flow of energy balanced, your immune system strong, and your resistance to disease high. An unhealthy, unbalanced spine can interfere with the natural flow of energy through your body, creating blockages and imbalances that may cause physical and emotional fatigue.
Surprisingly, some people who experience chronic fatigue often have enough energy but the energy is blocked, locked up, unbalanced and not flowing properly. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we talk about a great energy that runs up and down the spine called the Great Vessel. If that great energy is blocked and causing an imbalance in your body, then we have to look at how much heat is coming off your spine. We can measure the heat signature from your back with Spinal Thermography. This will tell you when there is too much, too little, or enough heat is coming out of your spine. This will tell how much energy is being blocked and wasted in one area.
Chiropractic’s Unique Place
When chiropractors correct a mechanical distortion in your body with a chiropractic spinal adjustment, nerve system energy is normalized. In effect, chiropractic care heals a broken bridge between your “physical body” and your “energy body” so that they may communicate better with one another and restore harmony to your “body-mind.”
Many chiropractors are aware of the biomechanical distortion in our body is known as subluxation. There is also another aspect of the flow of energy that runs along the spine and when chiropractic restores the biomechanical distortion, chiropractic also restores the flow of energy.
A New Dawn in Healing
In the same way that classical physics was superseded by Einstein’s physics when Newton’s laws could no longer explain newly discovered phenomena, medical science is beginning to accept new worlds of healing.
In my own practice, several cancer patients have recovered completely, after being pronounced incurable and given only a few months to live. I didn’t think they were miracles; I thought they were proof that the mind can go deep enough to change the very pattern that design the body. It can wipe mistakes off the blueprint, so to speak, and destroy any disease—cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease—that has disturbed the design.2
Anyone who is aware of the recent trends in medicine will realize that modern physicians—like the physicists before them—have begun to deal with finer and finer forms of energy both in the diagnosis and treatment of human illness.3
Vitalism—Life Energy
Today the study of the energy quality of the body is a new frontier of healing. It’s called energy medicine and Robert Becker, M.D. explains it eloquently:
Today…many physicians are re-examining and applying therapeutic techniques that were previously discarded as “unscientific” by academic medicine. The use of foods, herbs, meditation, and acupuncture [represents] only a few examples… The chemistry of life has been revealed to be based upon the underlying forces of electricity and magnetism. Our bodies and brains generate electromagnetic fields within us and around us… Current popular healing practices use an invisible common source: the body’s innate electrical systems. 4

Conclusion

All your body systems run on energy and, when properly working, give you an abundance of the energy and life with which you are naturally endowed. There is abundant energy within you all the time. Unfortunately, it can get blocked, unbalanced and congested. If you are fatigued, bored, tired, depressed or lacking enthusiasm, you should investigate the natural health approach to chiropractic.
 


2 Comments

Toxins that Causes Headaches, Allergies, Joint Pain, Muscle Pain

“Please…protect yourself from household toxins

–says author Debra Lynn Dadd—

Here’s a Little of What I’ve Learned

There are basically three ways that toxic chemicals can enter the body: by swallowing, by breathing, or by contact with the skin or eyes. When most people hear about a chemical poisoning, they usually think about swallowing (ingestion). Every year, five to ten million household poisonings are reported, the immediate result of accidental ingestion of common cleaning, pesticide, personal care and other common household products. Many of these poisonings are fatal, and most of the victims are children.

The personal care products we put on our skin and hair create possible toxic exposures through skin absorption. These include soaps, lotions, creams, cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, and other common products.  In 1989, a House subcommittee asked the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to analyses 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products, and 884 were found to be toxic. Of these, 778 can cause acute toxicity, 146 can cause tumors, 218 can cause reproductive complications, 314 can cause biological mutation, and 376 can cause skin and eye irritations. Personal care products should promote hygiene, health, and beauty…not make us sick.

Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that everyone will experience health problems the first time they use a product containing toxic ingredients, although many people do. Actually, most poisonings happen slowly, over a long period of time by gradual skin absorption or by daily exposure to toxins we breathe in the air.

When I talk to people about toxins in the air, they are usually surprised to learn that indoor air is generally much worse to breathe than outdoor air. In fact, an EPA Report to Congress on Indoor Air and the subcommittee hearings on the Indoor Air Quality Act of 1989 stated that indoor air pollution is one of the nation’s most important environmental health problems. According to the EPA, most homes have airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals that are two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. In one five-year study, the EPA reported that a number of homes had chemical levels that were seventy times higher inside than outside.

One reason chemical concentrations are so high in some home is that cleaning products, personal care products, and other household goods release toxic vapors into the air when they are used –some even when they are being stored. The next time you walk down the cleaning products aisle in the supermarket, notice how strongly it smells of toxic chemicals, even though all the packages are tightly closed.

A 1985 EPA report concluded that the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution. Also a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on chemicals commonly found in homes identified 150 that have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. With windows sealed shut in the winter to conserve heat and save energy, and in the summer to hold in cool air-conditioned air, these toxic fumes have nowhere to go and just build up to higher and higher levels.

Household cleaning products are among the most toxic substances we encounter daily. In one study conducted over a 15-year period, women who worked at home had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who had jobs away from the home. The study concluded that the increased death rate was due to daily exposure to hazardous chemicals found in ordinary household products. Both my mother and grandmother worked at home, and both died from cancer. My mother was only 51. I often wonder if she would be alive today if she had been aware of the information contained here.

I have one final comment to make about household toxins because this is dear to my heart. Household toxins don’t just affect us, they create toxic waste in their manufacture and use, which gets disposed of in the environment in the form of air and water pollution and solid toxic waste. Not only does this pollution come back to haunt our own health, but it also harms wildlife.

To cite only one example, my local California Department of Fish and Game tested the toxicity of common chemicals that they found in our waterways. The most toxic substances to aquatic organisms were household bleach, all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, and dish detergent. These were more harmful to aquatic life than other household products we think of as being more toxic, such as paint or car wax.

The natural environment makes it possible for us to live on this earth. From it, we draw everything that sustains our lives. Without it, we cannot survive.

What You Can Do

The first step is to educate ourselves. Now there are safer products on the market but the number of toxic products still being sold and purchased tell me that not everyone has gotten the message.

The next step is to begin to eliminate toxins from your daily life. While cleaning and personal care products are not the only sources of toxic chemicals in your home, they are among the most toxic and deadly. Fortunately, they are also the easiest to replace.

There are some good sources for safer cleaning and personal care products.

Be well, and enjoy your health!