Life Before and After an Adjustment

Dr. Meggie Smith

Have you noticed that when you are in pain everything seems bigger?  And after you get adjusted everything seems better and easier? That is because when you are in pain everything actually does hurt more. When you are suffering, your brain process sensory information differently. And after you get adjusted, your brain processes hardship less intensely.

Research has been done to explore how this happens in our brains. First researchers poked the finger of people who had no neck pain. A corresponding signal lit up in the part of the brain that processes finger pain. Then they redid the experiment with people who had neck pain. In these people, the pain centers for many different parts of the hand lit up. And those pain centers lit up more strongly than when they poked the finger of someone who did not have neck pain.

When someone is in pain, it is not just that area of their body that hurts more. They really do experience more pain, in all parts of their body, than they would if they were not in pain.

However, the study had another part to it. The researchers then chiropractically adjusted the people with neck pain. And guess what happened? Yup! When their fingers were poked again, the pain was lessened. And they were able to process the finger poke as occurring only in one finger!

Pain causes people to overreact. It limits our ability to see nuance. Chiropractic care can help. It plays a big role not only in decreasing pain, but also in helping your body stop overreacting to stimuli. It can help you, your loved ones, colleagues and friends experience the world in a more measured and more balanced way.

(Study reference: Haavik-Taylor H, Murphy B. Cervical Spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integrations: a somatosensory evoked potential study. Clinical Neurophysiology 2007; 118:391-402)

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