What are Subluxations?

Subluxations are interferences or disturbances in our nerve system that interrupt the normal communication pathways in our body. They create blockages in the brain-body connection.

Subluxations can simply be thought of as vertebrae that are ‘stuck’ and unable to move. The subluxation will interfere with the function of a nerve either by compressing (pinching) the nerve or by stretching and pulling the nerve.

Interestingly enough, it does not take a lot to pinch or stretch a nerve into dys-function. Studies demonstrate that the weight of a dime is all the pressure it takes to decrease the function of a nerve by 60%.  Place a dime in your hand and you will immediately see that its not much pressure at all! Leave that pressure on too long and you will have permanent nerve damage. Studies also reveal that a 6% stretch of the nerve decreases its function by 70%!

As you can see, it doesn’t take much pressure or pulling on a nerve to severely interfere with its function. These subluxations are usually caused by physical stress or trauma. Examples include poor posture when sitting, standing or sleeping or staying in one position too long – such as time in front of a computer. These are commonly called repetitive strain disorders. Work, sport or car injuries are common causes too.

    Like adults, kids can get these from falls, carrying heavy school bags or excessive computer and video game playing. Even babies are susceptible – learning to walk, birth trauma, or    falling off a bed among things!

   Subluxation can also occur when the body is overwhelmed by emotional stress or chemical toxins. In today’s hectic world, emotional stress is estimated to be responsible for over 80% of subluxations. When a person is “stressed” by emotions or chemical toxins, their spinal muscles become tense. In addition, the motor nerves (the nerve controlling the muscles) get imbalanced and cause the muscles on one side of the spine to contract harder than the other.

Between the muscle tightness and the nerve imbalances, it’s no wonder the vertebrae get misaligned – creating a subluxation. The misalignment further interferes with the nerves creating a repeating neurologic pattern – leading to a chronic condition of subluxation. Chronic subluxations can exist for years and often go unnoticed. Common causes include pollution, smoking, work & home stress. Life!

Studies tell us that subluxations can exist without pain yet still interfere and disturb nerve function. Why? Only 10% of your nerves are able to feel pain. The other 90% control bodily function only and can’t tell you something is wrong by sending pain messages to the brain.

This is why they are often called “The Silent Killer”.  Make sure you do your best to eliminate the everyday stresses that lead to subluxations as part of your chiropractic lifestyle.

The Master Control System

The central nerve system is made up by the brain and spinal cord. The brain and spinal cord are then connected to every cell, tissue and organ via our spinal nerve system. The spinal nerve system is composed of three types of nerves.

Sensory nerves: These nerves communicate to our brain about what is happening in our internal and external environment. Information gets IN our brain through these nerves. Our brain then processes this information about the environment (like a computer) and then tells the body how to adapt to it. This occurs as some form of response over the Motor & Autonomic Nerves.

Motor nerves: These nerves transmit the information that controls and coordinate our muscles allowing the body to respond. Information gets OUT of the brain through these nerves.

Autonomic nerves: These nerves control and coordinate our organs, blood vessels and glands. These nerves are like the motor nerves, information gets OUT of the brain through these nerves.

What do you think would happen to your health if any part of your nerve system were to be interfered with? If you interfere with sensory nerves, how will your brain be able to know what to do if it can’t monitor the body’s internal and external environment? If you interfere with the motor nerves, how will the body be able to respond appropriately? If you interfere with the autonomic nerves, how will the brain be able to effectively coordinate the function of all the organs? Nerve interference from spinal subluxations is a lot more serious than just back pain!

Stem Cell Therapy

I recently had someone ask me if the treatments where stem cells are used re-grow cartilage in a joint really work. I have been doing a lot of research about this topic and even attended one of their educational workshops. Using The Stem Institute of America’s protocol, they use amniotic stem cell tissue obtained from a tissue bank that has been irradiated to kill pathogens, frozen for storage, and then thawed and pulverized into a powder. Once reconstituted at the doctor’s office, it is injected into a patient’s joint by a nurse practitioner. It is a blind injection, meaning, there is no guided imagery to insure proper placement of the needle. The premise is that over the next few months, your body will repair and regrow cartilage, ligaments and tissues, reducing inflammation and pain.

The problem is that according to the FDA, these cells are not actually alive. In fact, the FDA has mailed warning letters to manufacturers of amniotic derived products due to their misleading  marketing techniques. According the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation, a non profit foundation focused on Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine, independent lab tests confirm the absence of live functioning stem cells in amniotic tissue. So, this isn’t actually stem cells they are using. The only way you can get stem cell therapy is with cells that have been harvested from your own body as in bone marrow or adipose tissue.

One injection costs $5000 unless you sign up that day,  and then you get a $500 discount, to make it $4500 per injection. What if you need more than 1  injection? And, on top of that, it is not covered by insurance.

There is no real evidence that amniotic stem cells help do anything. There are “case studies” but there are no large clinical trials to  suggest that these injections work.

On the other hand, there are a number of studies on low level laser therapy (LLLT or cold laser therapy) . LLLT has been used for over 35 years in Europe, Asia,  Australia and Canada and was FDA approved for use in the United States in 2002. LLLT has been shown to be effective in a variety of musculo-skeletal conditions. In a review of 18 studies,  patients with Rheumatoid arthritis reported an 80% success in relieving pain. A study of 40 patients who suffered from Osteoarthritis of the knee, showed a significant reduction in pain in 82% of the patients. Cold laser therapy: reduces pain by causing the production of natural pain killer endorphins; suppresses inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain and heat;   stimulates the release of healing enzymes; reduces pain and inflammation, stimulates nerve regeneration, and increases cellular energy by 150% which speeds and improves the healing process.

We have been using Cold Laser therapy for 8 years with great success. We have used cold laser therapy on patients who suffer from shoulder pain, knee pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and many other painful conditions. Many of my patients see dramatic results after 4 treatments. Even though Cold Laser therapy is not covered by insurance, the charge is nominal compared to these injections.

Your Body is a Self Healing Organism

The body is a self-healing organism; it has the ability to heal itself without drugs and surgery. For instance, if you cut your arm, the body can heal the cut without band aids or anti-biotics. Your body has within it an inborn ability to heal itself; in fact all living things have the ability to heal themselves naturally.

If your body has the ability to heal itself; why doesn’t it? The answer is sometimes we don’t give our body enough time to heal on its own or the actual cause of the problem is still present and interfering with the healing process.

Most patients who develop health challenges search for a pill or a potion to relieve their discomfort instead of locating the cause of the problem and removing it. By removing the actual cause it allows our body an opportunity to heal naturally.

For example, infections are not caused by a lack of antibiotics in our bloodstream. They are caused by a suppressed immune system. Why is your immune system suppressed? Poor diet, no exercise, stress, or maybe nerve interference from spinal subluxations.

Your immune system is controlled by your nerve system and spinal subluxations will weaken your immune response.

If the body is a self-healing organism, why take medicine? Why not find out why the body isn’t healing itself like it should and remove the interference?

 The next time you think about popping a pill or visiting your medical doctor for a problem, think about what may be causing the problem, not just how to cover it up.

Remember healthy people don’t get “sick,” only unhealthy people get sick.  Chiropractic can benefit everyone!

How do we Adapt?

Health has nothing really to do with how we feel, but how we adapt to change. Health is defined as the ability to adapt to a constantly changing internal and external environment. For example, if you run up a flight of stairs, how well your body is able to adapt is a measure of your state of health. Are you short of breath at the top? Are your muscles too weak? Or did you fly up the stairs with the greatest of ease?

It stands to reason, if we want a better state of health, then we need to learn how to adapt better. Well, how do we do that? Diet, exercise, rest? Yes! They are all important, however, first and foremost you must make sure your nerve system is free of interference. Why?

In order for your body to adapt, it must be able to (1) – perceive its environment, (2) – interpret it to some level and (3) – respond appropriately. These three functions are controlled by our nerve system – the master system of the body. The process is referred to as the Cycle of Health (COH).

In order to get the most benefit from proper diet, exercise, rest and other wellness habits, the nerve system has to be free of interference. The most common cause of nerve interference are subluxations in the spine. Subluxations interfere in the Cycle of Health by blocking the body’s communication between it’s three functions. Most of the time we are totally unaware of the cycle of health in action. We experience it as normal bodily functions – changes in heart rate, respiration, digestion, etc.

If the need for adaptation includes fighting off a virus or bacteria, we refer to the expression of the symptoms associated with the adaptive process as a Healing Crisis. Examples could be fever, vomiting, diarrhea & runny nose. They’re associated with detoxification.

The nerve system is the master system of the body, controlling all bodily function. It does this by adapting our body to the environment. The nerve system is susceptible to interference and a common source of nerve system interference are spinal subluxations. In addition, we learned that subluxations are known as the silent killer because we can have them with no symptoms at all.

Subluxations interfere with your nerve system.

Subluxations interfere with adaptation.

Subluxations interfere with Health.

Low Back and Leg Pain Causes

Many people have pain in their low back that extends down into one or both legs. One of the possible causes for this pain can be a locked up pelvis.

The pelvis is designed to move up and down and forward and backwards as your body moves. When you try to get up from a sitting position and the pelvis is locked up, it will not move properly or not move at all. This lack of movement will cause an irritation of the nerves and cause a sharp pain over the sacro-iliac region that can refer pain down the side of your thigh.

I see this condition in patients who have to do a lot of sitting at their job, or who have been sitting for an extended period of time during a car trip. Over time, the butt (gluteus) muscles become tight from not moving and this can eventually cause the joint to lock up. I also see this condition when a person tries to stand up quickly after being in a flexed position over a period of time as in gardening or cleaning house.

I would treat you by giving you a Chiropractic adjustment. using a specialized drop table or high speed instrument which will help restore proper motion to your pelvis. Restricted joint motion causes Type IV pain receptors to continually fire impulses to the brain, and Voila, you feel PAIN! A  chiropractic adjustment increases joint motion, thereby decreasing pain fibers from firing impulses to the brain. That’s why Chiropractic is so effective in relieving joint pain. Proper Join Motion Relieves Pain! I would also perform  neuromuscular re-education. Neuromuscular re-education locates restrictions and adhesions in the muscles that are specifically related to abnormal motion. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments are released by applying deep pressure to all of the muscles involved and the specific joint(s) involved. And then, I would give you specific exercises to reinforce the treatment and help prevent future episodes.

What is Health?

What is health? When posed this question, most people say health is “feeling good”. Well?  Is a person healthy if they felt fine one moment and in the next moment had a heart-attack?

Let’s explore the idea of health a little closer. If health really isn’t how we feel, then what is it? Health has been defined as – “when all systems of the body are functioning 100%, 100% of the time”. II still think there’s an even better definition:

Health is the ability of the body to adapt appropriately to a constantly changing internal and external environment. Health is the “ability to adapt”.

To be healthy means your body has the ability to adapt as best as possible. So, health has nothing to do with how you feel. In fact, you may feel lousy when your body is adapting. As you will see, this may simply be a “healing crisis”.

Let me illustrate. Let’s say you went out to eat and you got a case of food poisoning. The question I have for you is, what does your body do in order to get rid of the poison?

  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

If these experiences are the normal responses to the poison, then are they a sign of sickness or a sign of health? In other words, are they signs of the body adapting properly or not?

I think you’ll agree that they are normal responses – indicating your body is adapting appropriately – a sign of a good healthy response. I would go even further to say that a sign of sickness would be if your body failed to express these symptoms and your body harbored the poison to later develop into some form of chronic illness.

Yes, expressing symptoms, although very uncomfortable, is a sign of health. It is an appropriate adaptation to the internal environment of your body.

At The Gibson Center, our primary purpose is to facilitate healing, not interfere with it. To enhance the ability for adaptation, not suppress it with drugs. Why on Earth would you want to fight your body’s healing capabilities?

Why do you suppose it takes someone so long to recover from an ailment, such as the flu or a cold? The person has typically been treating their symptoms, thinking that will make them feel better. When in fact they’re fighting their body’s own healing. That is, interfering with their ability to adapt.

The lesson here – if and when you get “sick” (i.e. cold or flu), make sure you keep getting your adjustments. Do not cancel your appointments. The chiropractic adjustment will stimulate your immune system, thus providing a quicker recovery. 

If someone you know is suffering from poor health let them know that there may be hidden health problems that chiropractic can help.

To schedule an appointment call our office today at (479) 587-0250.

I have pain in my shoulder. Can you help?

Well, first I would have to examine you but it sounds like you have locked up your shoulder. It’s called a “scapulo-thoracic” restriction, but I refer to it as a “ locked up” shoulder because it is easier to understand. Basically, the muscles around your shoulder have become so tight that they have restricted or locked up the movement of your shoulder blade. (Your shoulder blade assists in the movement of your arm.) When your shoulder blade does not move properly, the muscle on top of the shoulder and the muscles between the shoulder blades have to do most of the work of moving your arm. Then, those muscles tighten up and fatigue and you begin to feel pain as well as numbness/ tingling down into your arm and into your neck. You can lock up your shoulder from doing a number of things: vacuuming, doing yard work, lifting weights, even using a computer mouse too much. It is basically an overuse syndrome, where you have overworked the muscles and that is why physical therapy didn’t help because a lot of times they think the muscle is weak and needs to be strengthened doing resistance exercises. It is weak because it has been overworked. I cannot tell you the number of patients I see with this condition. For treatment, I perform trigger point therapy on the overly tight muscles to release them. Then, I adjust any vertebral fixations that are affecting the midback, neck, and arm. I can use my hands or an instrument to adjust, whichever you prefer. And lastly, I mobilize the shoulder blade so that it can begin to move properly using a high speed instrument. Once your shoulder blade is moving well, you will regain your strength and can then start doing strengthening exercises. You cannot believe how much better you will feel with this kind of treatment. It works wonders! Call 479-587-0227 for an appointment.

Subluxation – The Silent Killer

Your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is responsible for sending messages to every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body. This communication is made possible by the information super-highway of your body, your nerve system. This vast communication network is in charge of virtually every function in your body and determines whether you enjoy good health or dis-ease.

The central nervous system is so important that nature built an armor of protection around it, your skull and spinal column. However, even with this inborn protection, your nervous system is susceptible to interference when the spine gets misaligned. We call this interference to your nerve system a Subluxation.

Subluxations can have devastating effects on your overall health and well-being. Our primary goal is to detect and correct the subluxations that are interfering with your nerve system and health thus allowing your body to heal and establish a healthier you.

Subluxations share heart diseases nick name – “The Silent Killer”.  This is because of their nature of not causing any pain until they are quite progressed. With heart disease, the first symptom is often a fatal heart attack (i.e. death).

Although subluxations usually go undetected for years, they still deteriorate your overall health potential. The good news is, they can usually be corrected before it’s too late.

You have your eyes checked. Your teeth checked. Even your blood pressure checked. How about your spine and nerve system?  There is a much more important reason to get your spine checked for subluxations than just simple neck & back pain.

All individuals of all ages should be checked for subluxations. Have your family checked for nerve interference (subluxations) today. To schedule an appointment call The Gibson Center today at (479) 587-0250.

Do you have any success stories on treating chronic pain and Fibromyalgia?

Yes, I have numerous but I’ ll share with you a couple of them. Judy F., of Bella Vista wrote: “ When I first came to see Dr. Gibson, I was somewhat reluctant, as I had only seen one Chiropractor previously. On the first visit, I was experiencing excruciating pain in my back from my shoulders down to the heels of my feet. I had been continuously getting worse and worse for the past 10-15 years. The pain was almost unbearable, and all that would happen when I went to the medical doctors, would be that I was given another pain medicine, which only masked the pain and did nothing to help the cause. Dr. Gibson gave me a complete examination and x-rays the first visit and asked that I come back the second time and she would have a plan of action for us to discuss. She was very thorough and laid out a plan for us to begin, which consisted of adjustments, trigger point therapy, diet changes, and supplements. She is a very knowledgeable, caring and kind Chiropractor. In the last 3 months, my symptoms have improved, and I am able to do many more things each day, that I had previously been unable to do around my home. I know I still have a way to go, but with the improvement I have seen I certainly have hope now, which I previously did not think was possible. My energy level has increased, pain is not as persistent and my outlook on life has certainly improved. I thoroughly appreciate Dr. Gibson for giving me back this hope.” Beverly H., of Rogers,” My husband was in severe pain in his lower back, right hip, leg and foot from a pinched nerve and on several pain medications. Our daughter recommended Dr. Gibson and we set up an appointment. Dr. Gibson has been doing Cold Laser therapy on him and in just 8 treatments, he is doing so much better. He is off all pain medicines, can get around with out a cane and his pain level has gone from a 10 down to about 3. We are so pleased with Dr. Gibson, we would recommend her to everyone. Thank you Dr. Jean!” My passion as your doctor is to relieve you of pain and get you back to doing all the things you love to do!! To make an appointment,
call 479-587-0227.