01 Apr How the Spine can cause Disease!
There are 3 main types of stimuli that nerves receptors generate.
- Nociception – The damaging stimuli that can also cause pain
- Mechanoreception – Stimuli generated by touch, stretching and joint movement
- Proprioception – Kinaesthetic awareness. ie awareness of where we are in space.
All 3 types of stimuli can be generated by spine function. Improper spine function and inadequate spine movement tends to lead to nociception. The big issue that causes serious health implications is that nociception stimulates the hypothalamus part of the brain which then sets off a chain of reactions resulting in the adrenal gland releasing too much cortisol. Too much cortisol creates problems in many different areas, as cortisol is usually released in response to a stressful environment. If the environment is stressful short term we can cope with it, but if the body perceives the environment is under stress ongoing then the adaptive changes can become diseases.
Mechanoreception occurs with movement and in the case of a spinal adjustment the movement and stretch of the joint bombards the central nervous system with mechanoreception. Mechanoreception competes with nociception meaning that the more mechanoreception that occurs then the less the nociception reaches the higher brain centres.
Proprioception occurs as a result of eye function, inner ear function and mechanoreception all combining together to allow us to find balance and awareness of our surrounds.
Nociception, mechanoreception, and proprioception are all intimately associated with the normal and abnormal function of vertebral joints. In a nutshell, nociception induces subluxation which subsequently reduces mechanoreception and proprioception. The end result is individual-specific conditions and patients that go from doctor to doctor and get no relief until they visit a chiropractor.