Adjustments in the cervical area can increase proprioception (body awareness) in the upper extremities.

What does that mean exactly???

When a person has experienced mild neck pain, ache, and/or stiffness, the person’s nervous system isn’t as aware of where their upper limb is in space compared to a person who’s never had neck symptoms. After receiving a cervical adjustment, the person with neck symptoms has a significant increase of awareness of where their upper limb is in space. This is called increase proprioception.

Does this matter? Yes!

Imagine how important it is to know where your arm is in space? We all rely on body awareness every day and don’t even realize it! Gymnasts, swimmers, kayakers, and rowers rely heavily on proprioception in their upper extremities. On a daily basis when you eat, brush your teeth, and/or fix your hair, you are relying on proprioception.

That’s not including the importance of proprioception in your lower body when you walk, run, skip, and jump. Without proprioception, you wouldn’t be able to walk well because your body wouldn’t know where it is in space. Proprioception is important for all of us!

#neck #stiffneck #bodyawareness #chiropractic #drchestencantrell #wellness #newdaychiropractic #rockymountva #franklincountyva #proprioception #chiropractor #getadjusted 

Here are more details about the research:

Haavik H, Murphy B. Subclinical neck pain and the effects of cervical manipulation on elbow joint position sense. JMPT;34(2):88-97.

This study compared people who had subclinical neck pain* against a control group. All of the participants did a test to determine how accurate their elbow joint position sense** was. Those with subclinical neck pain were not as accurate as the control group. None of these participants had a history of shoulder or elbow pain! After receiving an adjustment, those with subclinical neck pain had a significant improvement in accuracy of their elbow joint position sense. This implies that issues in your neck could cause a disturbance in proprioception in the neck and upper limb. It also is possible that receiving a spinal adjustment improves it.

*Subclinical neck pain is when mild neck pain, ache and/or stiffness occur with or without a history of neck trauma. The symptoms are not consistent. All of the participants were adjusted when they did not have any neck symptoms!

**Elbow joint position sense means; does the person’s nervous system know where the elbow is? Their elbow was placed in a position. The participant moved their arm around and then was supposed to place their arm back in the original position. This was done with the participant’s eyes closed.

Bumps and bruises are part of life, right? How many people do you know that suffer from neck pain? Well, Taylor and Murphy found that when a person injures his/her neck, it is possible for the injury to cause harmful changes to the brain. These changes in the brain can result in chronic neck pain and/or a decrease in functional movement of the neck and (possibly) the upper extremity (like the shoulder, arm, forearm, and/or hand).

The good news is that Taylor and Murphy also found that a cervical spine adjustment to a person with a history of neck problems can cause changes in the brain that lead to improved functional movement of the neck and upper extremity.

#neckpaintreatment #chronicpaintreatment #improvefunction #chiropractic #chiropractor #drchestencantrell #newdaychiropractic #rockymountva #franklincountyva #proprioception #wellness #getadjusted

Here are more details about the research:

Taylor HH, Murphy B. Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. JMPT. 2008;31:115-126.

All participants had a history of neck pain or stiffness. However, during the time of the experiment all of the participants were pain free. The researchers wanted to see changes in corticomotor measures that had nothing to do with processing pain. Instead, any changes observed would be the effects of spinal manipulation on a dysfunctional joint*.

The same participants were used for both the adjustment group and the control group. The participants met the researchers two times. One time, the participants were in the adjustment group and one time the participants were in the control group. The researchers made sure there were enough weeks separating the two times to ensure there wasn’t inaccurate data. When the participants were in the control group, they had the cervical area palpated without receiving an adjustment. When the participants were in the adjustment group, each participant was evaluated for dysfunctional cervical joints and a single adjustment was performed by a chiropractor. The technique used was manual adjusting of the cervical.

Data collected included EMG of the abductor pollicis longus and extensor indices proprios muscles of the right hand and transcranial magnetic stimulation of the head on the side opposite of the right hand. This is because the left side of the brain controls the right hand.

In the control group, there weren’t any statistically significant changes in data. In the adjustment group, there were significant changes that support the theory “that specific intracortical inhibitory and facilitatory pathways are altered in a muscle-specific manner after spinal manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints.”

The results of this experiment may help explain why a cervical adjustment leads to pain relief and improvement of functional abilities in a patient.

* For this study, a dysfunctional joint is when there is restricted motion between two cervical vertebra and palpable tenderness at the restricted area. Both are found to be reliable methods of determining a dysfunctional joint.