Structure and Function

When you alter structure, you alter the function. That is a simple rule of physics. Why do Indy 500 race cars all look alike (except for the painted advertisements)? It is be-cause they have found that a particular shape (structure) gives them maximum aerodynamics (function). If this is true for race cars it is also true for the human body. If you affect your structure, you affect your ability to function. A person with a broken arm cannot function as effectively as he or she did before the break. Missing an organ or part of the body affects the function of the entire body, at least to some degree.

The area that concerns us as chiropractors relates to the structure of the spinal column and the function of the nerve system. The body was designed perfectly. The spine was intended to be in a particular position and move within a specific range of motion. It houses and protects the all-important, life-carrying, nerve system. Any alteration in the position of a vertebra will alter the function of the nerve system which in turn alters the function of the organ or part of the body that the nerve supplies. This results in an ultimate decrease in the function of the organism, for every organ and part contributes to the function of the whole.

The problem with vertebral subluxation is that it takes a certain amount of altered function for a certain length of time in addition to other factors before that altered function manifests itself in a discernable problem. For example, altered neural function, and hence, chemical function may decrease the body’s ability to adapt to ragweed pollen but it is not until the spring when the pollen is in the air that the allergic symptoms appear. The body is not functioning properly 12 months of the year; the person just does not know it until the irritant is in the air. So how much alteration in function is necessary to cause a problem? Well, we really do not know. It could be a little, so little that it is not even noticeable. There are Eskimos whose bodies do not produce the chemical necessary to adapt to ragweed pollen, but since they never come in contact with the pollen, they never know it. Thousands of people die every year from a malfunctioning heart and do not even know they have a problem until the first symptom, which is a fatal one.

The other question to be considered is how much function do you want and how long do you want to walk around with a body not functioning as it should? It seems to me that to get the most out of life, you would want to function at your maximum and if there was a structural interference to proper function, you would want it corrected as soon as possible. That’s what chiropractic is about, checking the spine regularly to correct vertebral subluxations so the nerve system functions at its maximum. In so doing, the body can function at its best and people can get more out of life.


Nix Chiropractic, Nathan Nix DC, 10763 County Road 127, suite A, Flint, TX 75762