We are going to discuss your nervous system. Your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord and all your nerves. Most of what the nervous system involves itself with is below the level of consciousness, and while we all might do a lot of thinking every day that is still a very tiny percentage of what the nervous system is busy doing. Your nervous system directs the digestion of your food, the sweat glands in your feet and everywhere else, the activity of your thyroid, and the tone of your muscles – and almost everything else. The list of things your nervous system controls and coordinates can go on and on.
Reflexes do not require your brain, only your spinal cord. They happen outside of conscious control and awareness. When a doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer, you don’t need to tell your leg to kick. When you throw a cat in the air (not recommended) it will land on its feet because of reflexes that allow the cat to right itself.
Your posture, the way you sit and stand, is a result of a combination of postural reflexes which your brain uses to keep your eyes level with the horizon and your body from falling over. All this is also occurring outside of your conscious mind and is only under your control when you focus on it. Sometimes when your body develops weakness in one area, your postural reflexes will alter your posture to keep you more-or-less upright, although your compensated posture will be less healthy and will probably cause your body to develop other weaknesses down the road, making you more prone to falling down and getting arthritis.
Balance is an Interaction Between Three Senses
* Eyes – maintaining a steady gaze on the important stuff
* Inner ears – senses when the body isn’t level
* Sense of body position – via sensors in joints and muscles
* A healthy nervous system puts all that information together instantaneously to maintain balance, proper posture, and to prevent falls. When you have a less-than-healthy nervous system the 3 key components of balance do not function correctly, and dizziness and a lack of sure footing is the result.
The Nervous System Controls Body Movement
* The brain controls the movement of your arms, legs, and trunk (and your entire body) so that you can move smoothly and with precision.
* Being able to put your foot where you want it to go while walking, climbing stairs, or getting out of the tub is all a result of a healthy brain.
* Dizziness, vision problems, and an out-of-balance brain can all lead to falls, injuries, activity avoidance, and even depression.
* Being able to have improved control over your balance and your body will help you avoid falls in the first place.
In order to avoid a fall you need to focus on maintaining a healthy nervous system and maintaining an active lifestyle as much as you safely can. At Park Bench Chiropractic we focus on helping our patients maintain healthy nervous systems. Call us at (301) 378-0334 or stop by today.
Dr. Romano is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Maryland. He practices in Frederick, Md at 1780 North Market Street. He has worked with the older population in practice as a chiropractor as well as at numerous nursing homes and facilities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Romano and Dr. Schooley are also available to speak to groups, including seniors, about fall prevention and recovery and the importance of a healthy nervous system.