Should I Get Adjusted If I Don't Have Pain?
There is misconception among many people that chiropractic care is JUST about back pain... which is kind of like saying that exercise is just about weight or that sleep is just about beauty sleep. Yes! Chiropractic is awesome for low back, neck, and mid back pain! But that is the tip of the "benefit iceberg". Let' explore a few reasons why getting adjusted (even when not experiencing pain) is important and can help you from losing health and function over time.
Pain Signals (even when not aware) Result in a Stress Response
Pain is "created" in your brain from sensory input being sent from joints, muscle, and tissues all over your body. This input is arriving all of the time. We are only conscious of this input (aka: we experience pain) when this information reaches a certain threshold. All of the other "pain information" we are not conscious of and thus we do not experience pain from those areas. This is one of the reasons why pain can come-and-go so quickly and (seemingly) randomly, because as the sensory input rises above the threshold we are aware of pain and as it falls we become unaware of the pain.
Unconscious pain input still has an effect on our brain/nervous system and can push our nervous system toward an increased stress response. Chiropractic adjustments help reduce firing from pain receptors both reducing pain (that is felt) and reducing unconscious pain. We are only just beginning to learn more about how this affects health.
Here's the takeaway: Chiropractic adjustments help reduce pain activity in the body resulting in less experienced pain and also better overall nervous system function.
The Majority of our Nervous System Transmits Functional Information
The reason chiropractors are so interested in your spine is because your spinal cord (central nervous system) and spinal roots (peripheral nervous system) are located inside your spinal complex. When the spine is aligned and moving, there is better feedback and balance to nervous system activity resulting in better function. The majority of nervous system information being transmitted is information to/from organs, muscles, and glands... only about 10-20% is sensory (including pain). It makes sense then that chiropractic adjustments, which help improve nervous system activity, will most often result in better communication from organs, muscles, and glands in addition to improved pain.
Here's the takeaway: Chiropractic adjustments result in better feedback and balance to nervous system activity which can result in better function to organs, muscles, and glands, in addition to less pain.
Pain is NOT an Indicator of Health
Finally, pain (or lack there of) is not an indicator of overall health. Our organs have very little (or no) pain receptors and so rarely hurt. This is why heart attacks, cancers, and autoimmune problems in these tissues are often only diagnosed after severe progression. Lots of people have pain, but are otherwise fairly healthy. Lots of people have no pain, but are severely unhealthy. Pain is just one of thousands of different symptoms that may or may not be present. From a holistic perspective, the important thing is addressing overall health by supporting the body's ability to function while removing anything getting in the way of healing.
Here's the takeaway: Pain is just one of a countless number of symptoms that are possible. Lack of pain is not an indicator for overall health. Chiropractic adjustments help to support the body's ability to function and heal.
YES! Chiropractic adjustments are still important even if when not currently experiencing pain. Chiropractic adjustments help reduce the stress-response in our body, normalize feedback and balance in overall nervous system activity, and support the body's ability to function and heal.
I encourage people to experience the difference themselves. Give us a call to get started. 952-443-9000.