The best I’ve felt in years!

“I feel the best I’ve felt in years!”

This is a phrase I hear time and time again. It’s certainly great feedback to have from patients, but the first few times they came back to see me with a great smile saying: ‘I feel better than I’ve felt for years’, it came as bit of a surprise. After all, most people will come in to see their Chiropractor because of pain, usually originating from the spine. And sure, it’s great to be out of pain. But it got me thinking – why do people often become more upbeat, more energetic, and have that ‘spring in their step’ simply from having their spine ‘adjusted’?

Chiropractors are trained to identify and ‘adjust’ spinal restriction. This is also known as manipulating the spine, or correcting the spine. The job of the ‘adjustment’ is to free the spine of restriction. The spinal facet joints, the connecting joints between each vertebra, are prone to becoming restricted from a whole host of day-to-day activities such as simply sitting too long in one position. One of the immediate effects of the ‘adjustment’ is to reduce tension and therefore reduce pain. However, there are other effects, and this is because next to each facet joint is a spinal nerve.

The main job of the spine is to house and protect the nervous system. The brain communicates with the body via nerves running down the spine. Restriction in the spine has been shown to affect the quality of this communication. Adjusting the spine has been proven to restore and improve communication from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain. So, other than pain perception, the spine also holds motor nerves, which allow movement and control strength, and proprioceptive nerves, which are involved with balance, sense of body position, and sense of strength of effort. Moreover, it has been shown that the brain itself works best when it is communicating well with all 5 senses, and a huge amount of sensory input comes from the spine. Dr Heidi Haarvik is the pre-eminent researcher in this field. Of the latest research on the effect of the adjustment, her team states:

“This is solid scientific evidence that adjusting the spine changes the way the prefrontal cortex of the brain is processing information from the arm. It demonstrates we change the way the brain works and shows that spinal function impacts brain function. One of the most interesting things about the changes we observed was that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for behaviour, goal directed tasks, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness”

The implication is that adjusting the spine not only changes the way that your body feels, but it also has a positive effect on how the body and the brain work as a whole. This may help explain the improved positivity and wellbeing that many patients can experience when undergoing chiropractic care.


Research and quotation from