How Posture Affects Your Central Nervous System
Most people these days probably understand that their central nervous system acts like electrical wiring in the body, providing signals and carrying information to and from the brain. However, what is not widely known is how body structure/posture can affect this awe inspiringly sensitive and complex system.
The analogy of electrical wiring is not entirely true or accurate. Unlike wiring nerves can stretch slightly and still work fine. When stretched a little further their function will be affected. Further still and they will stop working all together. Beyond this point you will actually cause the nerves to tear.
Nerves conduct impulses where wires conduct voltage and current. With a nerve, the information being sent is conveyed in the frequency of the impulses. If the nerve is somewhat stretched, an occasional impulse is simply “lost” in the message. When enough impulses are lost from too much stretch, you get symptoms like numbness, tingling, nerve pains, organ dysfunction and disease, headaches, body pain, tenderness, Fibromyalgia and much more.
A Swedish neurosurgeon, Dr. Alf Breig, noted that the neurological effects of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders were based on the effect of breakdowns in skeletal structure and alignment causing tension (stretch) on the central nervous system and other parts of the nervous system. He published many papers on the separate experimental findings over the course of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. He collated the first 25 or so years of his research in the book, Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System in 1978. After a further decade of research confirmation and additional finding, he published the findings with the additional data and confirmation in 1989 in the book, Skull Traction and Cervical Cord Injury.
Although some doctors such as Dr. Yamada, Dr. Lee and other neurosurgeons confirm Dr. Breig’s work, very few know how to actually correct the underlying mechanical problems that are causing the stretch in the first place. Further, there is literature noting the causal link between trauma caused structural problems and MS as well as case studies demonstrating reduction of symptoms and lesions with structural treatment that has been all but ignored by the various societies looking for biochemical (pharmaceutical drug) answers that will never be found. Just look at our poor health and poor health care system and you’ll find a lot of suffering from conditions due to nerve stretch.
The works of Breig follow a few main points: The first is that the general theory held by Medicine, Chiropractic and other healthcare disciplines that pinching of a nerve causes reduction of nerve function is incorrect as a basic mechanism. It does occur but the reason for it is not the pinching effect. The basic mechanism behind reduction of nerve function is stretch of the nerve. Breig showed those effects in experiments over the course of 30+ years but it was Yamada especially and others who definitively demonstrated the mechanism during research on Tethered Cord Syndrome.
The basic point is that if nerve cells are just stretched to a certain point, with NO DAMAGE TO THE NERVE CELLS, the nerves cease to function. Lay people working to understand this section need to know the difference between Upper Motor Neuron problems and Lower Motor Neuron problems.
Upper Motor Neuron; is a nerve cell going from the brain down the spinal cord. It ends on and controls the actions of the Lower Motor Neurons by inhibiting the LMN from constantly firing.
When the UMN is absent or not working the Lower Motor Neurons continuously fire causing the constant contraction of the muscles it controls.
This is called spastic paralysis because there is no control of the muscles (paralysis) yet the Lower Motor Neuron constantly firing on it causes constant contraction of the muscle (spasm).
Lower Motor Neuron; is a nerve cell going from the spinal cord to a muscle in the body. It will constantly fire and cause muscle contraction unless inhibited by the UMN.
When the LMN is not working there is flaccid paralysis because the LMN is not firing and the person cannot cause the muscle to contract. It is always loose (flaccid).
When structure becomes misaligned and begins to breakdown, IF it does so in a way that causes the stretch of the brain, brain stem and spinal cord you will often get the production of hard lumps of tissue from the rubbing of the various tissues in the spinal cord. (These are the “sclerosis” tissues — “sclerosis” is from Greek and means hardening. Multiple Sclerosis is just a Latin term meaning many hard lumps of tissue. It is a descriptive term because the medical people have no idea how it works).
Once the sclerotic (hard) lumps of tissue are in the brain, brain stem and/or cord, they only cause problems if the cord is stretched from head to tail (buttock). Without the additional stretch from a person being stuck forward the nerves are not stretched enough to adversely affect them. This is also true of things outside the spinal cord like disc problems and bone spurs. The best way to explain this is a diagram from Breig’s book.
A few terms to understand;
- Cranial means head so cranialward means toward the head.
- The pons-cord tract is the brain stem and spinal cord considered together as the single thing it is. Anatomists call the top part of the spinal cord just below the brain the “pons”, also known as the brain stem, because is shaped a bit differently from the rest of the cord.
- Pathological means abnormal, so a pathological structure is an abnormally shaped or abnormally positioned structure.
- Tensile is an engineering term meaning having to do with tension or stretch ─ in this case stretch of the spinal nerves from the head to the tail.
- Petros bone is a hard bone on the side of the head making up the inner ear.
- Trigeminal nerve is a nerve directly from the brain to the face controlling those muscles.
- Intramedullary means inside the cord.
- Extramedullary means outside the cord.
- Lesion is a word that means the point of any type of abnormal structural change in the body.
- Space Occupying Lesion is any lesion that takes up space abnormally.
Taking the diagrams with the head and pons-cord tract. The one on the left is with the cord slackened. The one on the right is with the cord stretched. They demonstrate what happens when there are various space occupying lesions around or in the cord. Specifically noted in the text are an extramedullary tumor near the top of the spinal cord, some sort of intramedullary (in the cord) space occupying lesion in the middle of the cord and extramedullary lesion toward the bottom of the cord (herniated lumbar disc).
Breig notes that there is enough change in tension of the cord with flexion and extension of the head to make a large difference.
With MS the specific concern is with the intramedullary sclerotic lesions. What the middle parts of the diagrams show is the effects the sclerotic lumps of tissue inside the cord have on the nerves. On the left, with the cord slack, even with the lump of tissue the nerves function normally with no loss of function because they are not stretched, or not stretched enough, to cause problems.
On the right, with the cord tensioned, the lump of tissue increases the tension on the nerves so they stop functioning. Keeping in mind the nerves either carry sensations or control muscles. If the ones carrying sensation are affected the person feels things that are not there or experiences a loss of the ability to sense things (that are transmitted by that nerve or those nerves). If the ones controlling muscles are affected (keep in mind these are Upper Motor Neurons) there is spastic paralysis of the muscles affected.
Breig demonstrated on quite a few patients and specifically came to the conclusion that the effects of slackening the cord are the same as removing the lesions (better actually because no associated damage due to the surgery).
You should by now have a better understanding of how structural/posture breakdown causing tension on the nerves is the reason for the symptoms in many if not all of the neurological disorders we see today. Trauma, injuries and accidents can result in bones going out of place and creating loss of mechanical leverage. When this occurs too often over extended periods of time we can develop the kinds of sclerotic tissue Breig found in his patients.
Dr. Jesse Jutkowitz (founder of ABC™) figured out how to fix the mechanics of the body and out of that the neurological problems can be corrected and/or improved with ABC™.
Let us get to the root cause of your ailment(s). We offer a FREE consultation including a demo of the ‘First Rib Manoeuver’ before you decide on proceeding with any treatment. You will feel the difference to your pain and movement right from the off.