Chiropractic care has several known benefits.
It can relieve back pain, nerve pain, headaches, along with many more issues.
But there are also some lesser-known issues that chiropractic care can take care of.
One of them being brain health, and more specifically, neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is a common talking point when people discuss degenerative brain conditions, such as Alzheimer's or dementia.
The degeneration of neuroplasticity has been linked to severe illnesses, but the expansion of neuroplasticity is also possible.
It's believed you can expand neuroplasticity by learning new skills, challenging yourself with puzzles, complex thought, and memory recall exercises.
Chiropractic care has recently become a subject of discussion among researchers studying neuroplasticity.
The relationship between spine health and mental capacity has opened the door for an investigation into how important spinal alignment is in maintaining optimal mental health.
There isn't concrete evidence just yet to solidify the role spinal alignment plays in increased neuroplasticity.
However, it can be safely assumed that maintaining ideal spine health and posture does more for the mind and body than living with a misaligned spine, subluxations, or poor posture.
In the article below, we will discuss the role chiropractic care plays in neuroplasticity.
Table of Contents
- What Is Neuroplasticity?
- The Spine's Role In Brain Function
- Research About Chiropractic Care and Neuroplasticity
- The Future of Chiropractic Care
What Is Neuroplasticity?
Our experiences are continually shaping our brains.
Most people, hopefully, have different behaviors and thoughts than we did 20 years ago.
That shift is neuroplasticity in action; changes in brain structure and organization as we experience, learn, and adapt.
Every time we repeat a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway.
With each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being.
These small changes, repeated enough, changes the way our brains work.
Neuroplasticity is the "muscle building" part of the brain.
The things we do most often we become better at, and what we don't use we lose.
That is the physical basis of why making a thought or action over and over again increases its power.
Over time, it becomes automatic. It's a new part of who we are.
Neuroplasticity is at work throughout our lives.
Connections with the brain are constantly becoming stronger or weaker, depending on what is being used.
Younger people change easily; their brains are very plastic.
As we age, change doesn't come quite as easy, and it's easy to become fixed in how we think, learn, and perceive the world around us.
The brain is pivotal in everything we think and do, so harnessing neuroplasticity can improve everything we do and think.
The Spine's Role In Brain Function
The spine, and more specifically, the cervical spine, plays an integral role in maintaining brain function.
The spine houses essential nerve bundles and lymphatic delivery systems, which are charged with feeding the brain.
Nerve bundles housed in the cervical spine carry critical messages to and from the brain, facilitating both unconscious and complex functions.
Blood supplied to the brain provides oxygen, amino acids, electrolytes, hormones and more to ensure normal operation.
If your spine is out of alignment, stress is transferred to the supply systems it houses.
Slipping or bulging discs can impede lymphatic and nervous pathways. Stenosis of the spine can restrict flow.
The longer these systems are negatively affected, the more they deprive your brain.
Short-term consequences can include migraines, mental fog, lethargy, and vision problems.
Long-term, severe brain damage is a serious issue and includes negative neuroplasticity.
Research About Chiropractic Care and Neuroplasticity
With an obvious link between the brain and the spine, researchers have begun to look at how chiropractic can be used as a tool to help preserve positive neuroplasticity.
Clinical studies are already being performed that are monitoring chiropractic patients abilities to solve puzzles, multitask, and recall memories.
Some of the studies are already producing exciting results.
One of those studies was a three-year study comprised of 100 volunteers presented at the International Research and Philosophy Symposium.
The study monitored the mental activity of participants using EEGs, comparing readings before and after chiropractic adjustments.
Brain function showed improvements across the board in an overwhelming majority of the readings.
The Future of Chiropractic Care
As more studies conclude and results are published, researchers will be better able to understand the significance of certain adjustments on the spine and how they relate to brain function.
Chiropractic care will be recognized for so much more than just the ability to fix your aching back.
Although much is already known about the importance of the spine-brain relationship, more data will yield insights into chiropractic's specific effects on positive neuroplasticity.
The future is bright for chiropractic care.
To learn about more of the benefits of chiropractic care, click the links below.
- Chiropractic Care Benefits For Seniors
- 5 Powerful Benefits of Chiropractic Care
- The Benefits of a Sport Chiropractor