What does physical trauma have to do with the immune system? I want to continue our conversation about how stress affects the immune system.
So far we have covered two forms of stress. We talked about how thoughts or emotional stress can take a hit on the immune system. We also covered toxins or chemical stress and what that does to the immune system.
Today let’s talk about the physical stress. Our Colorado Springs Chiropractic office sees physical stress comes in many forms. With natures playground in our own back yard – we experience physical stress through accidents like:
- Skiing accidents
- mountain bike falls
- slips on ice
- sports like soccer, rubgy, hockey, and football
- car accidents
- playing with our kids
and the list goes on…
Almost ALL of us has suffered some type of accident like this in our lives – even if it was minor. What do those injuries have to do with the immune system you say? Immediately after those injuries most of us are familiar with what happens next. Inflammation occurs in the area that has been hurt and we see redness as cells migrate to that area to clean waste. It causes swelling to prevent further damage, and this begins the body’s natural healing process. This inflammation is good.
But did you know….that many times these injuries leave behind a chronic effect on the immune system?
This may even happen without any noticeable signs or symptoms for some time.
With most of these injuries, our Colorado Springs Chiropractors find that it’s usually the spine that takes a hit….especially the very top portion of the spine Accidents like falls or concussion often shift the upper most bones of the spinal column out of normal alignment or position. This shift becomes permanent as the ligaments and muscles around it shorten and adapt to accommodate for the strain and injury.
Until corrected properly, this foundational shift in the spine causes pressure and tension on the nerve system. This pressure on the spinal cord will continue to reduce the ability for the brain to communicate with the body effectively. AND, since we all know the brain is the driving computer behind all hormones, cells, and functions…it becomes more and more difficult for the brain to coordinate all of the roles and duties of the immune system.
This concept is not new. The science behind how misalignment in the spine can cause stress in the nerve system goes back to 1978 in Alf Breig’s medical text Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System.
In the text Human Anatomy and Physiology by Elain Mareeb she writes “The nervous system plays an important role in both the control and activity of the immune response.”
In Elaborate Interactions Between The Immune and Nervous Systems by Dr. Lawrence Steinman he writes: “The immune system and nervous system maintain extensive communication, including ‘hardwiring’ of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves to lymphoid organs. That hard wiring is via the vagal nerve and sympathetic nerve fibers to the main sites of the immune system in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, skin, and gastrointestinal system”.
The point here is that physical trauma can and will cause a less than functional immune system until the cause coming from the spine is corrected.
At Balance Chiropractic in Colorado Springs we use 4 objective measurements to determine if there is in fact a foundational shift in your spine and through the NUCCA procedure of Foundational Correction we aim to restore normal alignment to the head, neck, and spine which takes the pressure off of the spinal cord and connects brain back to body without ever twisting or cracking.