The Diverse Impact of the Nervous System
Did you know chiropractors are more nerve doctors than bone doctors? Much of our post graduate education and training is in neurology. Chiropractic care and adjustments help to reduce nerve irritation and restore nerve function. Nerve irritation can manifest as pain, muscle tightness, numbness and tingling or even impaired organ function. In more severe cases, people may experience muscle weakness, trouble with vertigo, balance, headaches, or frequent trips and falls. People with chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Lyme disease, Meniere's disease, cerebral palsy, lupus may be even more prone to sublxuations due to neurologic abnormality and gait impairment.
Development of the nervous system begins in utero as early as 5 weeks and an expectant mom's nutrition and exposure to environmental toxins and traumas can impact her baby's development. Most people are familiar with the fact that folate can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly, but many of the foods we eat and prenatal supplements we take contain folic acid and not folate. Some people can have a gene mutation of the MTHR gene and are unable to convert folic acid into its active form, folate. People with the MTHR mutation can actually have adverse reactions to eating folic acid rather than folate. It is important for expectant mom's to take a prenatal with folate in case of gene mutation.
Stress to the nervous system can come on from chemical, emotional, and physical stressors. The founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer stated that these stressors can lead to subluxations, which are misalignments of the vertebrae. Physical stress can happen in utero if there is a fetal malposition and also during the birthing process. Studies have shown that medical interventions during birth, such as vacuum extraction, forceps, and even c-section delivery can cause stress on the nervous system. One study identified that as many as 95% of newborns are born with subluxations.
In infants, subluxations may impact meeting milestones or could manifest themselves as ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, seizures, illness, or developmental delays. Infants should be checked for subluxation after birth, when he or she can hold his or her head up, after or during a growth spurt or with growing pains, when the baby can sit, when the baby can stand, and when the baby can walk. Abnormal crawling, such as army crawling or asymmetric crawling or retained primitive reflexes, and noctural enuresis (bed wetting) can also be an indicator of nervous system irritation and potential subluxation. Congenital torticollis and plagiocephaly (a misshapen skull) can also be indicators and would warrant a chiropractic check up. Many patients also report favorable outcomes in children with ear infections, asthma, allergies, and colic with chiropractic adjustments .