A Biomechanical Approach - Page 2

Author // Charles W Chapple, DC, FICPA

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A Biomechanical Approach
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Infrared Thermography measures the imbalances in temperature along the spine. Whenever communication between the central nervous system and blood vessels is malfunctioning due to subluxations, definable differences in temperature are detected and identified by abnormal color patterns. Similar imbalances exist within the autonomic nervous system, which adversely affects organs and glands. Surface electromyography measures the effectiveness of motor nerves by measuring the amount of current located in the muscles. Subluxations disturb the operation of the motor nerve and thus are identified by abnormal color patterns produced by the sEMG. A digital foot scan is another noninvasive tool which further enables the doctor of chiropractic to evaluate individuals with altered gait and stance mechanics, such as toe-walking.

Chiropractors identify the need for, and utilize, gentle pressure techniques, called adjustments, in order to remove subluxations. Subluxations are characterized by 1) irregular boney mechanics or spinal effects of poor mechanics on pain misalignments, 2) nerve imbalances, perception (nociception), 3) muscle irritation, 4) tissue inflammation, and 5) degenerative wear.

The poor structure involved in a subluxation results in poor motor, sensory, and neurological function. An individual with subluxations may experience multiple health concerns ranging from, but not limited to, pain, asthma, bedwetting, digestive upset, neurological disorganization, attention deficit/hyperactivity, scoliosis, and spinal degeneration.

To an individual with ASD, PDD, and SPD, subluxations could additionally manifest in numerous forms, possibly accentuating a hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity. Hyposensitivity is a symptom of a less active sensory portion of the nervous system; in essence, the volume to sensation is too low. Commonly, motor and other neurological functions are also hypoactive. Conversely, hypersensitivity is a symptom of an overactive sensory portion of the nervous system; the volume is too high. A principle indication of hyposensitivity is the craving for pressure, and a principle indication of hypersensitivity is the avoidance of pressure or touch. (Hypersensitive individuals can present their own set of challenges when utilizing a hands-on treatment, such as chiropractic or CST. Frequently, parents and siblings help in defining a comfort zone for the hypersensitive individual.)

A chiropractic adjustment restores more appropriate sensory, motor, and neurological input at the receptors of joints. Therefore, with either a hyposensitive or hypersensitive individual, one purpose of an adjustment is to turn up or down the volume of sensory input. It would then be reasonable for a parent or caregiver to note subjective gains, such as reduced sensory or motor stimulation, and for a chiropractor to document biomechanical improvements through re-examination or Thermography and sEMG.

CST focuses on relieving undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord through light manual pressure at the cranium (skull) and sacrum (base of the spine). This craniosacral system is made up of the membranes and the cerebral spinal fluid, which serves to protect the central nervous system. Manually monitoring its rhythm detects restrictions in this hydrostatic fluid system. As irregularities in cardiovascular and respiratory rhythm could indicate numerous health concerns, so, too, variations in the craniosacral rhythm could indicate any number of motor, sensory, or neurological impairments. A few examples of such conditions are migraines, chronic pain, fatigue, and learning disabilities. Similarly, following a course of CST treatment, both subjective and objective references would be monitored for expected improvements. CST practitioners are commonly massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical and occupational therapists. These healthcare providers also may pursue additional training in related techniques, including lymphatic drainage.

Ultimately, a biomechanical approach to improve sensory, motor, and neurological function for these special-needs individuals can benefit from bioenergetic, biochemical/ nutritional, and bioemotional components. Within this complementary approach, which would ideally involve many separate healthcare practitioners and healthcare approaches, a person’s total health can be addressed. Furthermore, although chiropractic treatment and CST, either separately or shared, are not meant to be a cure for individuals with ASD, PDD, and SPD, functional, behavioral, emotional, and educational gains are legitimate goals whenever structure is improved and function follows.

Pathways Issue 21 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #21.

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