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Understand why your posture changes after chiropractic adjustments

Several beneficial effects have been shown in the literature regarding chiropractic adjustments, such as improved posture, muscle relaxation and pain relief. Understand why this happens:

In the human body there are various types of nerve fibers that carry information from the body's sensations to the central nervous system, mainly to the cerebellum, in different ways and at different speeds. A set of these fibers is called mechanoreceptors, which respond to movements and physical stimuli, such as touch, vibration, position and joint movement. They are strategically positioned close to the joints, tendons, muscles, and even close to the intervertebral discs, informing the central nervous system of their location in space (which is why you can touch the tip of your nose with your index finger even with your eyes closed). They do not respond to harmful stimuli and do not induce the experience of pain under normal circumstances. The information from the mechanoreceptors reaches the cerebellum, which interprets "what is happening" in the body and transfers this information to other parts of the brain (thalamus and motor cortex) that contain information about what "should be happening." If these two pieces of information match, everything is normal in the response that is sent, as no subluxation is present. However, if the information differs, the cortex sends responses to control muscle tone, posture, movement and balance. When a subluxation is present anywhere in the spine, it is proposed that it causes an effect on four primary structures:

  1. Muscle: Within the muscle there are mechanoreceptors that detect immediate or chronic stretching or distortion in these muscles. In the presence of a subluxation they send a stimulus to the nervous system, which responds by sending a command for muscle contraction as a protective measure against excessive stretching (contracting the muscles of the spine).

  2. Golgi Tendon Organs (GTO): This structure detects stretching in the tendons (which connect muscles to bones) and has a protective function, telling the muscle to release before rupturing. Any distortion in the musculature stimulates the GTO, which increases its activity as the stretching stimulus increases.

  3. Joint Facet: The facets have various mechanoreceptors that identify movement and position of the vertebra. They continuously influence muscle tone and respond to sudden changes and extreme range of motion.

  4. Intervertebral Disc: Mechanoreceptors are present in the outer fibers of the disc and in the longitudinal ligament (one of the ligaments that runs through the entire spine). A subluxation causes distortion in the intervertebral discs, sending messages about this inadequate distortion.

In the presence of any vertebral misalignment, the information that reaches the brain does not match what should arrive. As a response, the brain sends a message of muscle contraction, making the muscles more tense and leading to a more bent posture with the body leaning forward and one of the legs shortening. Then, a command is sent that inhibits the contraction of the muscles that oppose this shortening, unbalancing the whole body and preventing it from returning to its best posture. Additionally, the lack of movement in a joint leads to a small inflammatory process, which further sensitizes the fibers that respond to pain, making the affected area more sensitive and enhancing muscle contraction.

When the chiropractic adjustment occurs, there is a neurological reset, meaning the information on the positioning of that vertebra is erased, and new information is created through these mechanoreceptors, which now provide more consistent and appropriate information about balance, movement, and body symmetry due to the corrections made with chiropractic adjustments. As a response, the muscle tone is reduced, and there is a balance of postural muscles, so they do not contract excessively (which causes fatigue when trying to maintain a better posture). As a result, you can maintain a more upright posture with much less effort now that the correct bodily information is reaching the nervous system.

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