by Dr. Harlan Sparer, Tempe Chiropractor
Tone is what holds us together. Ligament health is vital to this. The now lost art of Naprapathy considered it essential, as did 19th Century Chiropractic. Ligaments connect bones together and hold them in alignment. They have extremely symmetrical, tightly banded fibers lined up in only one direction. They have very little blood supply, similar to tendons, which anchor muscles to bone.
When any joint loses some of its function, a ligament tear, or sprain is part of the cause. A sprain (ligament tear) causes an influx of swelling over time, which initiates the healing process (providing no Ibuprofen is utilized). Ligaments take weeks and often months to heal, based on their design and lack of blood supply.
Proper alignment is essential to a ligament healing, as the unidirectional fibers need to be apposed to ensure healing. Chiropractic is essential to accomplishing this.
Chiropractors correct subluxations, which are a special form of sprain involving the vertebrae of the spine. This occurs when the articular or joint surfaces of the vertebrae change from their healthy state of alignment with complete contact of both vertebral facets to partial contact due to a combination of trauma, toxins, and extreme stress. When this occurs, the ligaments attaching the vertebrae stretch and tear. The stretching and tearing causes the small muscles between the vertebrae and surrounding muscles to go into spasm or “splint” to try and duplicate the supporting and aligning functions of the ligaments. Many people believe that breaking up this kind of spasm is positive, but in actuality, this leaves the injured area vulnerable to further injury because the accommodation and compensation is taken away.
Once alignment of the subluxation (Chiropractic Adjustment) has been achieved in all planes of motion, the maximum amount of ligamentous fibers are in contact once again. Healing of the ligaments involved can then be accomplished more effectively.