In a structural approach to the body, the goal is to influence the entire nervous system. Here is an analogy: by jacking up the corner of the foundation in a house that has sunken down into the ground by two inches, we can influence the structural integrity of the entire house. It is easy to apply the force, but it is more important to correctly analyze which corner of the foundation has sunk. The skill lies in knowing where to apply the force.
Structural dysfunction can block neural impulses between body and brain. In other words, monitoring and response within the body has “gone dark.” This can lead to overactivation of the stress response. The stress response is triggered by sensory information, and faulty perception of neural impulses can lead to exaggerated “fight or flight” responses. In children, this faulty neuroception can lead to challenging behaviors because a child interprets mundane sensory information as threatening. Fidgeting, being easily distracted, and poor adaptation to changes in plans are a few examples of how structural dysfunction can impair a child’s life experience. Pediatric chiropractic is more often focused on these issues than typical adult issues like spinal pain.
The physiological base of the spine is in the upper neck, a region that is richly populated with positional sensors. Try this experiment right now: tip your head about ten degrees to the right, and keep it in that position for 30 seconds. Most people start to feel uneasy and tired after doing this. If your head and eyes are not level, your body will create compensations within the neurospinal system to restore equilibrium. These compensations may cause problems with other body functions, but the prime directive of the spine is to maintain a level head and eye gaze. Insults to the structural system, whether one-time or repetitive, can cause impairments to neurospinal function. This can manifest as headaches, neck pain, sleep disorders, sciatica, fatigue, back pain, and even digestive disorders like heartburn.
The process of correcting structural dysfunction needs to include a thorough analysis of the upper neck region. Biomechanics of the upper neck influence the stress response and the entire structural system. For patients of all ages, our in-depth analysis leads to tailored programs of care that can restore health and get people back to living their lives. For a private 15-minute chiropractic consultation, please call our office in Eagan, MN, at 651-757-5096.