At the core of our bodies is the spine - a clever autonomous engine that multiplies the strength of our limbs dramatically. When our spine and limbs are coordinated, we are capable of incredible feats of strength, from lifting over 250kg, breaking wood or concrete with our bare hands, to hitting a golf ball over 200 yards.
The spine moves in a unique and unpredictable manner: when we turn to the left, for example, the bones do not move an equal, predictable amount - all the motion could happen at one segment. The next time we turn left, that segment might not experience any motion at all. This random chaotic motion allows the wear and tear to be evenly distributed over the surface of all of the joint, rather than being concentrated in the mid-range where most of the motion happens.
The advantage of this is that the joint cartilages are regularly compressed all the way along their length, squeezing nutrients out from the blood-rich cartilage/bone junction towards the surface of the joint, like squeezing soapy foam out of a dishwashing sponge.
Unfortunately, this chaotic motion can sometimes trigger protective muscle spasms that limit the motion at that segment, and so more motion happens at the levels above and below. The loss of proper chaotic motion means that the ‘foam’ of nutrients isn’t being squeezed out of the ‘sponge’ of the cartilage, resulting in less healing of the joint surface. Eventually the lack of healing means that the little cracks and tears of the now-fragile surface start to link up, deepening and widening. This can result in the fluid of the joint being forced into the cracks, deepening them further, and possibly leading to a ‘bubble’ of joint fluid being trapped inside the bone that underlies the joint. Needless to say, this is extremely painful, which limits the contraction strength of the muscles that move that joint.
We cannot feel it when the muscles in the spine lose tension, perhaps due to the small area of the brain devoted to sensations from the spine, but we can detect it via a monitoring of the other circuits of the body, who need a strong, coordinated spine for maximum effectiveness.
Neurological Chiropractic uses loss of strength, changes in balance and coordination to indicate what the spine and brain are doing. These circuits give a lot more information than ‘does it hurt when I press here’. In fact, a Neurological Chiropractor sees pain as a necessary evil. It tells us that there is a healing process underway, but it doesn't tell us of the origin of the problem. In many cases, it is not because the joint moved too much, but because the movement sensors were overly sensitive. Neurological Chiropractic looks for the things that caused this hypersensitivity and shows you how to prevent them from returning.