The human body is very complex involving an intricate network of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. The complexity of the “neuro-muscular-skeletal” system includes nerves, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles working in conjunction with each other. The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae (not including sacrum/coccyx). These small bones are built for protection and the multiple joints give the spine flexibility and mobility on many different planes.
“Soft tissue”, muscles/tendons/ligaments, around the spine are important for stability and movement. Ligaments “hold” the joints together. Tendons are a continuation of muscle tissue and attach to the bone. There are large muscles and muscle groups, which attach to the vertebrae as an “anchoring point”, that help stabilize and/or move the upper and lower extremities. Smaller muscles attach only to the spine, from one vertebra to another; these muscles are arranged so that they allow each spinal segment, or multiple segments, to move according to the way the vertebral joints are aligned. The muscular system, in itself, is a balancing act. The majority of neck and back pain complaints are caused by muscle strain due to muscle imbalance, trauma or even bad posture. The human body strives to survive so if an injury is properly addressed; the healing process is usually quick, allowing for full recovery. Dysfunction of any type will cause an imbalance which can cascade into many issues, causing pain. An issue may begin as a muscle spasm caused by overuse or lack of use. The spasm may lead to myofascial trigger point(s) and/or cause bone misalignment(s) which can create nerve irritation or impingement. In most cases, these issues are reversible, quickly through Chiropractic Care.
Another function of the smaller spinal muscles is proprioception, the neurological sense which gives the ability to know the position(s) of parts of the body and the effort needed to move them. Joints have this neurological sense as well. Spinal muscles and vertebral segments which are not functioning properly are parts of what is referred to as the “vertebral subluxation complex” (VSC). They, in turn, create other parts of that same “VSC”. Again in most cases, this can be quickly and properly treated with Chiropractic Care.
When it comes to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, the relationship between muscles, bones and all of the included components is one similar to the “chicken and the egg”. Which came first? Usually, a detailed patient intake and specific questions will give the answer or at least a great start towards the correct treatment plan. Here at Pro Massage and Chiropractic, our philosophy is to “treat the cause and not the symptoms” through an individualized care plan. By utilizing a combination of clinically excepted modalities, our patients receive maximum benefit and pain relief. Chiropractic Care encompasses a variety of modalities including but not limited to; myofascial trigger point therapy, myofascial release, therapeutic ultrasound, interferential therapy (EMS), stretching/strengthening exercise, nutritional and homecare recommendations, etc. as well as the Chiropractic Adjustment. Once you get to a happy place, your care plan does not end. An important part of a “pain-free” life involves a “Wellness Lifestyle”. Those who continue with the maintenance recommendations are much less likely to reinjure. People, who do not follow this part of the plan for whatever reason, soon come back again in pain.
By: Tod Kaplan, DC, LMT
** Disclaimer** The information from Pro Massage and Chiropractic is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding general human anatomy and back pain.