On adjusting a poorly moving spinal joint, the movement at that level increases significantly. This allows the little spinal muscles to start contracting and relaxing again. This stimulates the sensory receptors which stimulates nerves.
The nerves go from our muscles to our spinal cord, where the nerve splits into different branches. Some of the branches go to other local nerves which carry pain, where they inhibit pain. Some messages go to other muscles that move you in the opposite way, causing them to relax so you can move smoothly. The bulk of the nerve signals go up to the brain.
Think of the brain divided into upper and lower, and left and right. The lower parts deal with consistent postural tone of the muscles on the same side. The upper parts are related to conscious movement, which is crosses to the other side of the body for limb movement but is uncrossed for movement of the muscle of the trunk.
How does this apply? Whether it is a consistent tightness or a weakness in active motion, knowing the neurology guides me to your needed adjustments. I adjust the spine, activating muscle, to increase nerve messaging, which inhibits pain, improves motion, and changes the brain. The brain then increases or decreases muscle tone. This also guides my use of exercise prescription, acupuncture, kinesiotaping, and use of topical stimulants.
Now get up and move! Your brain needs the stimulation!
Want more? Here are some specifics on the most common uses of this thinking:
Let’s say you are consistently tight on your right lower back. Tightness means too much nerve tone of a postural nature. What is driving the increased postural tone? Probably painful nerve stimulation in your right lower back. Does it make sense to adjust the right side and cause more stimulation? NO! It makes sense to adjust to stimulate on the left, to provide lots of non-painful sensation to the brain causing a re-balancing of tone, to cause the opposite muscle to relax, and to have the inhibition of pain signals at the spinal cord level.
Or maybe your left leg is weak when you try to move? That is conscious movement, right? That is a decrease in the nerve signals that control conscious movement. Conscious limb movement nerve control crosses over to the other side twice, and therefore is on the same side. So if your left leg is weak, your right brain is under stimulated because of a lack of stimulation from the left side nerves! How do we stimulate your right brain, by adjusting your left side!
But Dr Paul, you may ask, what if it is my right lower back that has good tone, but is weak on movement? I would adjust the left side! Your right brain is responsible for conscious tone in your right lower back. There isn’t enough tone, so I need to stimulate your right brain. The stimulation for your right brain for conscious muscle control is from the opposite side, ie your left!