My wife and I got the opportunity to go out this weekend and catch a movie. We saw “X-Men: First Class.” This post is not a review of the movie, though it was entertaining enough. What I love about the X-Men story is the concept that mutation has the ability to create better-than-human abilities. The reality is the opposite. Anyway, in this movie they introduce a character who takes on the code name Darwin because his body adapts to external forces in order to survive. The truth is, the ability to adapt is inherent in all of us. The difference is how quickly we adapt and how much harm the adaptation will cause.
Every time we are exposed to or experience trauma in one form or another, our bodies, by design, form a strategy to cope with the insult. The reaction is one of survival first. This is completely appropriate. However, often times the coping mechanism leaves the body in a state that promotes degenerative change.
Let’s consider a very common example. When a person is rear-ended in an auto accident, the body absorbs a tremendous amount of force. The neck whips back and forth, overstretching ligaments, compressing discs, tearing joint capsule and and shifting vertebrae. To adapt, the body sends in inflammatory chemicals to clean up the damage and cause swelling that will help stabilize a joint. This swelling is fine for a short period of time but, if left unchecked, it will start causing more problems. In addition, the shape of the neck is changed as a result of the trauma. This means that muscles now have to adapt to the new forces due to the change. Joints also have to compensate for the changes in movement patterns. All of these changes are recognized by the nervous system and recorded.
The newly adapted mechanics become the norm. Altered function of joints, muscles and nervous system leads to wear and tear. The only way to counteract the wear and tear of adaptation is to restore proper function. Chiropractic is great at helping the body return to proper function. It takes time to retrain the body but with consistency, the results are are positive.