What Do I Do?

The Family Chiropractic clinic can offer you something new and different, to help you become pain-free again.  I combine my extensive knowledge of ‘clinical neurology’ with a relatively gentle treatment protocol that I have developed, so that I can effectively treat many difficult and chronic ailments.  My objective in the examination and treatment, is to identify and correct all muscle imbalances that have caused a detrimental affect on the joints of your body.  I will also identify the root cause of your muscle imbalance.
I start my investigation with a comprehensive case history consultation.  From the information given to me via the ‘case history’ form and verbally from you during the consultation, I can form a ‘picture’ of what is likely to be causing your pains.  Each one of us has their own specific muscle imbalance that results in a variety of symptoms like pain, but may also cause stiffness, fatigue, dizziness, and abnormal spinal curves.
Your muscle imbalance is not caused by working long hours at a computer or heavy lifting, but these activities may exacerbate your symptoms.  The ‘tone’ of your muscles are regulated by specific regions in the brain stem.  When all regions of the brain stem are ‘balanced’, then the body will easily maintain an upright posture.  When any of the regions of the brain stem become ‘imbalanced’, then abnormal posture and subsequent pain occurs.

The Examination and Treatment
When you lay down on the treatment table, I put a pair of flat-soled shoes on you.  These shoes allow me to compare your leg lengths.  In the relaxed lying position, your legs will be the same length.  However, one leg will become shorter (approx half inch), whenever you do something (or I do something to you) that causes a greater muscular imbalance or increases joint displacement. 

The leg length difference (LLD) is caused by reflex muscle contractions in one leg that result in one leg becoming shorter.  Like a concertina, the joints of the ankle, knee and hip become more compressed.  This reflex will happen if you contract a muscle (anywhere in the body) that is already over-active (hypertonic) or if I gently push a joint further out of place.  Strangely, this reflex / LLD will also occur when you contract specific eye or facial muscles that are associated with your brainstem imbalance.  This may be by simply looking up or down, left or right.

We all have a cortical and brainstem imbalance, which is a consequence of our genetics.  Certain regions of the brainstem activate (or de-activate) specific muscles in our body (and face).  The left side brainstem regulates the left body and right side brainstem regulates the right body.  Differences (imbalances) between the left and right sides will affect the muscles of the body differently.  The right spinal muscles may be tight and the left side flaccid.  Our posture is reflective of brainstem function.

If you are one of the many people who suffer from car sickness or have a dis-like of spinning, then this is a strong indicator that your vestibular nuclei are imbalanced.  These nuclei in the brainstem regulate the tone of spinal muscles.  Hence, if you do not experience these symptoms, then you are more likely to be affected by the regions of the brainstem that regulate the muscle tone of intermediate or extremity muscles.  That is not to say that you cannot experience an imbalance in both the spinal and extremity muscles – you can.  In some people, the imbalance progresses from one region of the brainstem to another, over the course of their life-time.

The treatment is designed to reduce the brainstem and muscular imbalance and ultimately to reduce your symptoms.  To use a simple example: if the right vestibular nuclei and the left lateral brainstem were over-active, then I would expect to see right-hand side tight / hypertonic spinal muscles and left hypertonic extremity muscles.  You also need to bear in mind that whilst the brainstem regulates the body muscles, the receptors within a muscle (spindle cells) also fire back up to stimulate the same region of the brainstem that excited it. 

So, my goals are to reduce the tone of the tight muscles (reducing the feed-back to the over-active region of the brainstem) and increase the tone of the flaccid muscles (increasing the feed-back to the under-active region of the brainstem).  This imbalance has been progressing over the course of your life-time and will not be ‘perfectly balanced’ any time soon.  However, you can quickly reduce the tension in the tight muscles and increase the tone of the flaccid muscles but this will require you to carry out your rehabilitation exercises on a daily basis.

The above hand-held tool (that sounds like a staple gun) is pressed into a tight muscles and ‘fired’.  This mechanical spring-loaded impulse, quickly stretches some receptors close to the muscle tendon called ‘golgi tendon organs’.  When these receptors are quickly stretched, there is a neurological reflex that relaxes the muscle.  These adjustments only have a temporary affect, as the muscle will still be affected by the brainstem imbalance (but to a lesser degree).  This adjustment is consolidated with the use of deep pressure vibration into the same spot for a few seconds. 

In order to increase the tone of a flaccid muscle, light pressure vibration is used to stimulate the spindle cells, found within the belly of the muscle.  Stimulation here will increase the feed-back to the under-active region of the brainstem.  Once I have treated your muscular imbalance, adjustments to your pelvic / sacral complex can be made (if appropriate), which may have been displaced by the muscle imbalance. 

At the end of a treatment, all previous +ve muscle tests will now be -ve (no LLD).  This is a temporary state of balance.  Ultrasonic vibration can now be use into the jaw and occipital muscles, which have a close relationship with the brainstem.  As mentioned, the muscle imbalance will return but you can help keep these tight muscles relaxed by doing the prescribed gentle stretches 2-3 times per day.  The longer the tight muscles are kept in a state of relaxation, the sooner the associated over-active region of the brainstem will ‘cool’ down.  I don’t want to confuse you too much, but these stretch exercises will change as you improve.  Good health!

Please phone 0161 482 0786, to make your consultation and examination appointment or to make further inquiries.
The Family Chiropractic Clinic, 15 Station Road, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.  SK8 5AF.  

Chiropractor, serving the people of Cheadle, Stockport, Manchester, Trafford and Tameside.