You were meant to move. Every joint in your body is deeply imbedded with mechanoreceptors which constantly notify your brain when the joint is functioning properly. You have muscles that rely on the joints to have proper motion in order to stay toned and in good health. This is crucial for your health, inside and out. Yet, accidents happen.
When something drastic happens like you break a bone, the standard procedure in most cases, depending on the severity is to set the bone and then cast over the area to both protect and immobilize the nearby joint. Keep in mind that the cast never heals anything. It is just there to protect and immobilize. If the joint is immobilized too long then the bone may heal but it could start to become extremely dangerous for the joints and the muscles. The joints become in danger of calcifying, creating bone spurs, or even worse, fusing. The muscles become in danger of losing their normal tone and start to become weak and flaccid. This is called atrophy of the muscles. Neither of these is a favorable outcome for you. That’s why a cast may serve a short term goal, but it absolutely must not stay there too long, or it is unhealthy for your joints and muscles.
Another type of accident is when you have strains, sprains, trips, or falls that result in your spine losing it’s healthy motion and alignment. When this happens, you have areas of your spine that get fixated or stuck. Sometimes you can feel this and sometimes you can’t, but essentially it’s like having a cast around those areas of your spine. You certainly can’t afford to have those joints and muscles weakening. Because if they do, there is the danger of the joints calcifying, creating bones spurs, or even worse fusing. And there is danger of the paraspinal muscles losing their normal tone and becoming weak and flaccid. Neither of these is a favorable outcome for you. The results of this spinal immobilization will be seen in new levels or areas of pain, alterations in posture, and irritation on nerves leading to different areas of bodily dysfunction.
You have heard of people that have casts on for too long and suffered extreme stiffness in their joints and atrophy of their muscles. Depending on how long, it can be quite severe. It can often take months or years to rehabilitate those areas of their injury. Imagine this happening to your spine.
Chiropractic is the only profession trained to locate these areas of fixation and poor alignment and even more so, are the only professionals trained to attempt correction. How long the “cast” has been on those areas of your spine certainly plays a huge part in how long it takes to “rehabilitate” those areas through spinal adjustments. Keep in mind that most times you can’t even feel these areas stuck and not moving. Make sure you have a great working relationship with your chiropractor. You were meant to move.