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Oct 21

Emotional Stress, Chiropractic and Vertebral Subluxations

by Dr. Pete Ahlers-Nelson, D.C., Blog, No Comments

Oct 21

It is important to remember that physical, chemical, and emotional stresses can cause the spine to subluxate and interfere with proper function in the body.  It is easy to understand how a physical stress, such as falling, lifting, or repeated motions, can cause subluxations.  Chemical stresses may be a little more difficult to understand, but after a little explanation people see how chemicals and poisons in the body affect the spinal musculature and can also cause the spine to subluxate.  Similarly, emotional stress can also result in subluxations.  There are probably a number of mechanisms, but research[i]  done at Ohio State University (OSU) has recently demonstrated some interesting results:

A group of college students repeatedly lifted 25-pound boxes while a measuring device calculated the pressure on the students’ spines.  During the first half of the experiment, researchers offered words of encouragement to the participants while they were performing their tasks.  In the second half of the experiment, the students were criticized while lifting the boxes.  While some of the students were not bothered at all by the negative comments, others such as those who do not handle criticism well or those that dislike repetitive work, demonstrated an almost 27% increase in pressure on the spine.  Clearly, a 27% increase of pressure on the spine could subluxate a person.  William Marras, professor of industrial engineering at OSU said, “What this shows is that there is a body-mind interaction that manifests itself as pressure on the spine.”

This study was limited to job-related emotional and physical pressures, but they concluded that the same findings could occur “anywhere exertion and stress combine.”  That could be the pressure of athletic competition or even non-physical stressful situations like talking on the phone with the head titled at an angle, sitting at a computer, or any kind of repetitive work while experiencing additional emotional stress.

Except for major physical traumas, it is likely that almost all subluxations occur as a result of a combination of physical, chemical, and emotional stresses upon the body.  Clearly, if you are subluxation free you will be better able to withstand those forces.  Yet, in this stressful world even the strongest spines will subluxate given certain circumstances.  That is why it is important to keep your spine adjusted, so that you can withstand stress and so that when it does cause a subluxation, it can be corrected as quickly as possible.

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