Chiropractic Treatment Works Due to the “Use It or Lose It” Principle

A typical chiropractic treatment plan includes several adjustments administered over a period of time, usually 1-6 weeks.  This is because the adjustments work by


A)     Restoring normal motion to a joint that is otherwise restricted.  (We experience this as “stiffness” in our neck or backs.)

B)      Reducing muscle tension. (We experience this as a “tight” feeling in our muscles.)

C)      The combination of points A and B above reduce pressure on the nerves exiting the spine at those levels.  This allows the body to heal naturally, without drugs or surgery.  (Nerve pain can be shooting, numbing, burning or be experienced as weakness.)


Over the course of chiropractic treatment the body adapts a new normal which is properly moving joints, less tense muscles and less pressure on the nerves.


I am going to lay out several scenarios for you today to illustrate the “Use it or Lose it” Principle at work in the body to illustrate how chiropractic treatment uses the body’s natural response to a stimuli to produce great improvements in pain levels and improve overall health.


Scenario A)


Lifting Weights:  When people make a continuous effort for several weeks to lift weights the body naturally builds more muscle as the muscle tissue is systematically broken down and then built back up.


Scenario B)


When a person routinely abuses an addictive substance the body becomes accustomed to the drug being present and when drug use is stopped a withdrawal period occurs as the body re-adjusts to its normal biochemistry without the drug present.


Scenario C)


A person starts to walk and then jog after several years living a sedentary life.  At first the workouts are extremely hard but if the workouts are performed at a regular schedule the person eventually becomes able to perform the workout easily.



Scenario D)


A person sits on their wallet, which is 2 inches thick, for 8 hours a day every day of the work week. They always put the wallet in the right pocket.  Over a period of time the constant adjustment the body must make to support the body causes the facet joints on the right side of the person’s spine to grow thicker and denser than on the left.  This is found on an x-ray taken after years of this postural habit and is diagnosed as arthritis.



The tie that binds in all the above scenarios is that the human body adapts to repetition.  This can be good as in the examples involving exercise, or bad as in the addiction and posture scenarios.  Chiropractic isn’t magic.  It isn’t a particularly strong placebo effect.  It is a principle of nature that if you do something repetitively over time the body adapts to it.


This is also the line of reasoning behind continuing to get adjusted once in a while after the pain is gone and you feel good again.  Once you have the positive momentum you want to keep it going.

Ready to started with chiropractic care?  Call 715-552-7889 or visit the Oas Family Chiropractic website to get started.


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Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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