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 Bone Health > Question and Answer > Pain and Symptoms > Straight Chiropractic > spasms
9/26 10:39:43

i am a dounble amputee and frequently get a trapped nerve in one or both stumps that feels like an electric shock every few seconds and this can last for one or two days. I'm unable to sleep duing thi time as the spasms always keep me awake. Can Chiropractic help to releive this condition?

Dear Geoff,

Thank you for your question about symptoms you are feeling recently.  In order to answer it properly, I抣l first need to give you some background on anatomy and physiology and how they relate to the chiropractic profession.  I抣l then offer my thoughts on how this may relate to the situation you describe.  

There are two branches or schools of thought in chiropractic.  Briefly, they are differentiated by whether they deal with the limited therapeutic approach for aches and pains (commonly termed "mixed" chiropractic because it represents a mixture of a chiropractor with a non-chiropractic matter) or a non-therapeutic approach to optimum body performance (termed "straight" chiropractic because there is no mixing of chiropractic with anything else).  My expertise is in non-therapeutic straight chiropractic.

Therapeutic "mixed" chiropractic is the older approach based on a split from the founding principles of chiropractic about a century ago.

Non-therapeutic "straight" chiropractic is the more modern of the two.  It deals with a particular, common situation called a vertebral subluxation.  The spine is made of many bone segments which house and protect the spinal cord and the smaller spinal nerve branches that come off the spinal cord and exit between the bones.  These nerve pathways carry information or messages between the brain and the cells of the body.  These messages are essential for the life of the cells.  Without brain messages, the cells immediately begin the process of dying; i.e., they can no longer function the way they should to maintain life.

Because the bones are moveable, they can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the messages and, ultimately, the ability of the person to function at their best or express their optimum potential, whatever that may be.  People with vertebral subluxations are not able to get all they can out of life.

Vertebral subluxations can be caused by a wide variety of factors, what we'll generally call stresses.  These stresses can be physical (such as exercise routines, sleeping posture and mattress condition, the birth process, sneezing, falling down, etc.), mental / emotional (in its many forms, probably the most familiar use of the word stress), or chemical (such as pollution, drugs, etc.), which are, unfortunately, regular parts of daily living for all age groups.  In short, a vertebral subluxation can occur for a multitude of reasons.

Tragically, vertebral subluxations are rarely obvious to the individual they affect.  They usually have no symptoms.  The reason is that most of what goes on inside you happens without your awareness.  As an example, try to "feel" your liver.  What's it doing right now?  You can't know, so you can't know if it's functioning at its best or something less.  To complicate things, nerve pathways that carry messages of control (termed "motor" nerves) have no way of transmitting ache or pain messages, so your body function may be far from perfect and you'd not have any alerting signal whatsoever.  The branching of the nerve pathways is complex and extensive, making it exceedingly difficult to predict or determine exactly how the person will be affected.  For this reason alone, it is impossible for anyone to give you reliable answers as to a connection between the spine and specific symptomatology of any kind.  Certainly, every part of the body must have connections to the nerve system so that vital information may be transmitted between the brain and the cells.  There are some who would attempt to review the possible nerve connections between a nerve root and specific organs or tissues, but this ignores the multitude of variables that determine the expression of function.  The question of how your individual body carries out the myriad of activities just to maintain life is enormous and would require your Creator抯 (or creator抯, for the agnostic) knowledge, or at least far more than our educated knowledge of the complexities of life.

Now that you have more information about the body and vertebral subluxation, how do you make use of it?  Well, first understand that this is not an explanation of why you experience the various symptoms you reported or whether they relate to the spine or represent a 搕rapped nerve.? Are there reasons for what you抮e experiencing?  Even though they may be beyond our ability to identify here, yes, there are; but pinning them down is not relevant to the matter of whether you will benefit from being free of vertebral subluxations.  Vertebral subluxation is, in and of itself, detrimental to your life.  It is not valid or reliable to try to connect it to a shock sensation or spasm or any other organ or tissue conditions.  In order to know if someone has a vertebral subluxation, it is necessary to have that person抯 spine checked by a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor using a method of "analysis."  When a vertebral subluxation is detected this way, it is obviously important to correct it as soon as possible.  The term for this procedure is 揳djustment.?br>
Since vertebral subluxations are caused by so many different things, people choose to go to a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor on a regular basis to enjoy the most time free of the life-robbing effects of vertebral subluxation. There's a saying that straight chiropractic is not about your back, it's not about your problem, it's about your life.  Each person has a unique potential in life.  With vertebral subluxation, it's impossible to realize that potential.

A key question to ask for your purposes, then, would be, Is someone with your symptoms better off with vertebral subluxation / nerve interference or free of subluxation / with the nerve channels open?  It is easy to see that having all the available nerve messages getting through is better than only some of them getting through, regardless of the person's situation otherwise.  It抯 not that you should see a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor FOR your symptoms ?you should visit one in an effort to be free of vertebral subluxations, even WITH those symptoms.  Non-therapeutic straight chiropractic is not about diagnosing and/or treating this or any therapeutic-model or medical condition.  It is entirely separate in its goal.  So, in answer to your question, this type of service would be of benefit to you (or any spine owner, for that matter) but perhaps in ways you may not have considered.  

As I mentioned earlier, not all chiropractors adhere to this and it is important that you be able to distinguish which ones do if you're going to seek this type of service.  You need to understand very clearly that the practice objectives of therapeutic mixed chiropractic and non-therapeutic straight chiropractic are quite different, as described above.  What I can tell you must not be interpreted from the mixed viewpoint.  

It would certainly be wise to have your spine checked for subluxations by a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor even if you still elect to have therapeutic attention for your complaints or to be evaluated for what you have called a 損inched nerve.? Remember, this is not the same as vertebral subluxation and the objectives of therapeutic evaluation are not the same as that of non-therapeutic straight chiropractic.  

If you are interested in finding out how to locate a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor in your area, please contact me at this site again or at

Geoff, I wish you the best in understanding what non-therapeutic straight chiropractic has to offer.  It has been my pleasure to provide you with some information.

James W. Healey, D.C.  

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