Tag Archives: structural misalignment

More Neurology from your Pensacola Chiropractor- Blazing a New Pathway in Your Brain

Pensacola Fl PathwayIf you have ever made your way through a thickly overgrown area, you understand the value of a machete – the huge knife used for cutting through underbrush.  If you ever learned to drive a manual transmission car, you understand the difficulty of creating a new pathway in your brain. It’s rough going at first; certainly not a smooth and easy path.

But, as you push yourself along this pathway in your brain the second or third time, it begins to get easier and the process becomes smoother and more coordinated. Eventually, you can drive the manual transmission car without any conscious thought at all; it is a well established and easy pathway.

Your first steps as a baby were difficult, but now they come smoothly. This is convenient.

When I walk the dogs, I can focus on keeping their behavior in line, and I don’t have to keep my brain occupied with making my legs take each step along our walk. These gradually enhanced pathways can be created in every area of our brain and are valuable, but sometimes they are a pain.  

Literally.

The Problem
If you have a recurring pain, that pathway can become enhanced or “potentiated” and, just like hacking your way through the overgrown brush, it gradually becomes much easier to use this pathway.  In other words, the pain pathway can be fired again and again with a lot less stimulus than was required the first few times. In chiropractic neurology we say “neurons that fire together, wire together. 

What to do?
You need a machete. (Figuratively, of course.)  You want to create new and different pathways that do not lead to recreating your pain.  In an attempt to address this in the world of medicine, patients with chronic pain are sometimes prescribed Antidepressants (TCAs ) with the general goal being to push the pain pathway into a different area of the brain. Studies have shown this medication approach to be mostly ineffective.

Changing the movement patterns within the joints of your back or neck are important.

Different movement patterns = Different nerve pathways stimulated = Break the old pain pathway

This is the definition of chiropractic.

Can I exercise it out?
Usually, no.  Increased movement and stimulation along the current pain pathway usually increases your pain. You have to change your path.

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”
– Variously attributed to Henry Ford, Mark Twain, and Tony Robbins

If you need to heal, see Dr. Neal at Neal Clinic of Chiropractic in Pensacola.

Pensacola Chiropractor lays it on the line about Radical Spine Restructuring

I see some radical spines, radical misalignments, and 90+ degree curvatures in the spine. I cringe inwardly when I review x-rays with a patient that has this level of a spinal misalignment. The question is always “how much can you change it with chiropractic care?”

That question makes sense. A radical misalignment needs radical correction. Orthopedic surgeons sometimes do fusion surgery using a titanium Harrington rod to straighten a severe curve in the spine and fuse it.

What’s the Reality?
I have seen patients with severe curvatures who tell me that they were pain-free until this past week.

The rule is simple. Your body tries to adapt to misalignments as much as it can.  In order to correct the problem, we change as much as this spine is able to change, and then we’re done.  These spinal curvatures get this way gradually and a healthy person adapts.
We have lots of tools – laser therapy, interferential therapy, spinal adjusting, and deep tissue therapeutic massage.

The fact is – no chiropractor anywhere is going to straighten up a radical curvature.

What’s my Job?
Get ’em functional, get ’em stronger.  The person who can live, move, and is able to do their activities without pain is functioning and happy. That’s what a patient wants. In the end, you don’t really care how it looks on the x-rays if you are fully functional and pain-free.

That’s my job at Neal Clinic of Chiropractic in Pensacola! call 850 479-2700

Real Story: 70 years of leg pain

Nothing in medicine is an exact science.

I’ll restate that:  You can’t consistently predict the outcome of any treatment for any health problem, there are just too many variables.

I consulted with a woman who told me she had her leg pain for 70 years.  Not the usual patient history…

She told me that she remembers her mother taking her to the doctor when she was age 5 or 6 complaining of right leg pain.  They assured her that it was growing pains and would go away.  Except, it didn’t. Now,  in her mid 70s, she still has a chronic pain in her right leg – living with it all these years.  Then, a friend of hers said I helped him with his leg pain…

Ask me… how confident I was about accepting this case? (Not very)

But, we got an x-ray of her back (where the nerves to the legs begin), and we found that she had some structural misalignment. I offered her a trial of care.  What do we have to lose? She surprised both of us when she got good relief from her leg pain.

Most patients I treat have had a pinched nerve or a disc problem for one or two weeks.  This patient was a good reminder not to rule out helping those really chronic cases, because I often see them improve and get active again.  It’s exciting when it works out well!

Structural problems irritate your joints and your nerves, and they hurt.  And there’s no pill to fix a structural problem…  Ever.  If you have a nerve problem, whether it’s 1 day or 70 years in the making, call us.

If you need to heal, see Dr Neal.