Can Structural Alignment Negatively Affect the Brain?

Many people associate conventional chiropractic care with neck pain and back pain. Most conventional chiropractors do a great job at getting people out of pain or reducing pain. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the structural alignment of the spine can influence the function of the brain. As a neuro-structural chiropractor my focus is more than just pain relief, it is assessing and correcting structural shifts of the spine that may be causing distorted messages to the brain. In this article, I would like to discuss the science behind a neuro-structural chiropractic and how we can influence the function of the brain.

  1. Dys-Kinesia

Dys-Kinesia is fancy word meaning dysfunction with movement. This is the first part to influencing the brain. When the spine shifts from its normal, stable structural alignment, it becomes stuck or moves improperly. This shift from the normal structural alignment can be due to some sort of physical trauma like a car accident, slip or fall, or even poor posture and long hours of sitting. This dys-kinesia could even start at birth for most people. The birth process is a physical trauma to a newborn baby without developed musculature. Studies have shown in a normal vaginal birth, about 60-80 pounds of pressure is exerted to the upper neck area (think brainstem) of the spine.


  1. Dys-Afferentation

The structural shift of the spine and improper movement (dys-kinesia) lead to another fancy word called Dys-Afferentation. Joints of the spine are loaded with special sensors called proprioceptors and nociceptors. Proprioceptors sense proper joint movement and position. Nociceptors sense when there is dysfunction within the joint. In other words, proprioceptors send calming signals to the brain letting the brain know everything is working properly. Nociceptors send stressful signals to the brain letting the brain know something is wrong. Nociceptors can sometimes cause the physical sensation of pain, but not always.

When the spine shifts and improper movement within the spine occurs, proprioceptors decrease their signals to the brain and nociceptors increase their signals to the brain. In simpler words, the number of calming signals to the brain decrease while the number of stressful signals to the brain increase.

  1. Dys-Autonomia

Dys-Autonomia means that there is dysfunction within the Autonomic Nervous System. Your Autonomic Nervous System has two branches: the sympathetic and parasympathetic. Think of your Autonomic Nervous System as the operating system of your body. It is to your body what iOS is to an Apple Phone or tablet. Think of your sympathetic nervous system as the gas pedal and your parasympathetic nervous system as the brake pedal.

CNS balance

Lack of proper movement leads to less calming signals to the brain and more stressful signals to the brain which leads to the Autonomic Nervous System being stuck in a Sympathetic (gas pedal) dominant state.

What does this mean?

This process can cause more than just pain, it can lead to dysfunction with your Autonomic Nervous System, or the operating system of your body. This decreases the ability of your body to adapt to stress and heal properly.

In our office, we measure how far your spine has shifted from normal and if it is affecting the operating system (nervous system) of your body. Our goal is to get your out of pain but also get your body functioning at a proper level.

Common Conditions

We see a wide range of conditions come through our office. We can help the people with conventional chiropractic symptoms like neck pain, back pain, and headaches. We also can help children that get sick constantly, have developmental issues, or sensory disorders.

Our goal is not to treat the condition, but to remove the spinal dysfunction and get the operating system of your body functioning at its peak potential. Many of our patients experience an improvement in their energy levels, mood, immune system, and overall quality of life with our care.

Many times, our bodies adapt to pain. That pain is a warning sign that dysfunction is present. Just because the pain is gone does not mean that the structural shift and effect on the brain is gone. Would you rather have a back problem or a brain problem? I think most would agree on a back problem. Remember your back problem could also be a brain problem.

Are you looking for a Neuro-Structural Chiropractor for you or your family in the Sarasota, FL area? Would you like Dr. Morris to review your health history? Would you like to know if you or your child is a candidate for structural chiropractic care? Schedule a FREE Consultation below.

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Dr. Matt Morris
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Dr. Matt Morris

Neuro-Functional Chiropractor at Pinnacle Chiropractic
Dr. Matt Morris is a Neuro-Structural Chiropractor. He has a passion for helping adults and children through Neuro-Structural Chiropractic Care. He has extensive training in dealing with children with Autism, ADD/ADHD, and other Sensory Processing Disorders.
Dr. Matt Morris
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