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How Chiropractic Care Keeps Our Bodies From Malfunctioning | Springfield, IL

A painful pinched nerve can ruin someone’s whole day, but now imagine a pinched nerve across the body’s entire central nervous system.


It ain’t pretty, but that’s what it would be like if our entire nervous system stopped working. As a chiropractor in Springfield, IL, I know that a pinched nerve would be the least of our worries if our whole nervous system stopped working.

Of course, the odds of someone’s entire nervous system shutting down all at once are thankfully quite low, but for anyone who has ever wondered what happens when our nervous system stops working, here are some things to expect. (Insert record scratch sound.)


Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up for a second – how does the nervous system even work? For that, we need to examine the “shocking” truth. Electrical impulses called action potentials pass through nerve cells called neurons. Neurons pass action potentials along the network that makes up the nervous system on the way to the brain. These impulses that come from stimulation allow the body to feel things.


Ok, I get it. The nervous system is like a computer. When we press a computer key to enter data, a signal travels to the processor along a series of wires. The processor determines what to do with the entered data and sends a response in return. This response may trigger the start of a software application, but it may also just print a character on the screen.

In comparison, the brain is the processor of the body. When the nervous system is stimulated by touch, pain, temperature change, or other stimuli, neurons transmit data along nerve tissue like the wires that send data to the processor in a computer. A response is generated once that data hits the brain, or processor.

Sometimes this response is to release neurotransmitters like endorphins to relieve pain. When pleasant feelings stimulate the nervous system, the brain releases oxytocin which triggers feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. In other cases, the response may be to contract a muscle to cause movement in the body. Like this:


To provide an idea of just how expansive the average human nervous system is, consider that if the nervous system were to be unraveled and stretched out end to end, it would stretch somewhere around 60,000 miles (yes, miles) long. That’s enough to wrap around the entire planet twice.

In addition to being massively complex, the nervous system also contains 43 pairs of nerves that branch into billions of nerve endings that reach virtually every square inch of the body. Certain parts of the body contain more nerve endings than others, and this is why some areas of the body are more sensitive than others.

What Happens When the Nervous System Stops Working?

If the nervous system stopped working, the obvious result would be that the body wouldn’t function. Since the nervous system controls what data gets sent to the processor or brain, people aren’t going to get much done if nothing makes its way upstairs. Of course, watching the news shows us there are many people who are able to function without a brain, but that’s a different rant for a different day.


But if the nervous system stopped working, there would be even bigger problems than simply not receiving information about stimuli. The other issue is that the body would have no muscle control. The same neurons that transmit information about stimuli also transmit electrical impulses when someone wants to move. Trying to stand up? The brain needs to tell the right muscles to contract. Want to chew food and swallow without choking? The brain needs to send signals to coordinate chewing and swallowing. Even the things we don’t have to think about like breathing and our heart beating would stop working. That’s a real problem.

Even something as simple as focusing the eyes to look at something requires muscle control, and by extension, a functioning nervous system. Just like how a computer stops working if the wires are disconnected, people stop working if the nervous system stops working.


What is a Pinched Nerve?

This leads us to the pinched nerve, which is good because we need to quickly move on from whatever is going on above. When a nerve gets pinched, it can no longer accurately transfer data to the brain. Depending on how severe the impingement is, sensation may not be able to get passed along to the brain at all, leading to numbness or even the loss of muscle control. Just like how a hose with a kink no longer allows water to flow freely, a pinched nerve acts as a barrier to neuron activity.

There are several causes of nerve impingement, including:

  • Physical trauma
  • Subluxation
  • Muscle tension
  • Bad posture
  • Repetitive motion
  • Disc herniation
  • Inflammation

Pinched Nerve Treatment

A traditional medical doctor may prescribe medications to ease inflammation or relax muscles to help relieve pinched nerve pain. But the cause of a pinched nerve is usually structural – spinal misalignments or disc herniations. A structural problem needs a structural solution, otherwise that medication and its side effects will only provide temporary relief.

Chiropractic care looks for the source of the problem and corrects that to alleviate pain and prevent the problem from returning. Chiropractors tailor their solutions to each patient’s unique situation using natural, non-invasive therapies. Their secret power lies in their ability to optimize the nervous system so the whole body can function at


A pinched nerve may lead to:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Burning and tingling
  • Numbness
  • Pain

Pain may be the thing that gets the most attention, it is incredibly dramatic after all, but only 10% of our nerves transmit feelings of pain. The other 90% deal with the function of our body. While pain may be the most obvious thing, multiply that experience by nine to understand what the rest of the body is going through.


Non-pain related issues can be:

  • Cardiac problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Comprimised immune system
  • Infertility
  • Incontinence

Pain doesn’t seem so bad anymore, does it?

Nerve impingement can cause referred pain to be felt somewhere along the nervous system when the trapped nerve is actually located in another area of the body. This can make it challenging to track down the source of nerve pain and makes it all the more necessary to work with a chiropractor to seek relief.

One sign of referred nerve pain may be feeling pain in one area of the body but experiencing numbness or weakness in another. Someone with referred pain may also experience intermittent pain in a part of the body adjacent to an area with pinched nerves. The area with the actual nerve impingement may experience constant pain.

At the Springfield Wellness Center, we want to share our vision of natural, non-invasive, holistic healthcare with everyone. Fast, lasting relief will keep our friends and neighbors out of pain and unleash their full potential.


And the world is better for everyone when we’re all operating at our best.

Call our office or schedule a time to meet with one of our amazing doctors, and let’s change the world. It may sound like a lofty goal, but that’s how strongly we believe in the power of chiropractic.

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