Segmental Movement Dysfunction

SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease.

SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease.

Similar to that of the Movement Deficiency Syndrome (MDS), which we talked about a few weeks ago, we are living in an epidemic of Segmental Movement Dysfunction (SMD). SMD takes the same principals as MDS and relates them to the joints or segments of the body. Each and every one of your segments are designed to move throughout their full range of motion everyday in order to stay healthy. When these segments don’t move, become fixated, or distort the proper alignment, a toxic or negative sensation is sent to the brain beginning a decrease in the normal functions of your body, increasing your body’s stress response, increasing muscular tension, and leading to degeneration and disease. Your most important segments are located in your spine, protecting your central nervous system, and in particular your upper neck region where your brain-stem is located. 

Why is this daily movement through a correct and full range of motion so important? Believe it or not, the only way joints receive nutrients in and push waste out is by moving. There are no blood vessels within joints, therefore your joints need to move fully each and every day to maintain themselves, or else they start to decay. 

Seems simple enough right? But when joints become fixated or displaced from their proper alignment, it becomes more complicated. One of the major reasons we develop fixated, immobile or shifted segments and joints is due to physical traumas. Physical traumas come in two fashions. One is a sudden trauma, like a car accident, falling while learning to walk, or a difficult birth. The second is repetitive postural micro traumas, such as sitting and/or working for long periods of time in poor positions. This causes segments of the spine to distort, shift, lock, and create a cascade of dysfunction of the brain and immediate structures of the body.

Regular spinal hygiene in the form of chiropractic care is necessary for the maintenance of these segmental joints throughout a life time. Chiropractic at its most basic level is all about motion and how that motion creates homeostasis (balanced function of your physiology) in the body. 

Some of the effects of SMD:*

Joints:

  • Shrinks joint capsule

  • Increases compressive loading

  • Leads to joint contractures (shortening and hardening)

Ligaments:

  • Lowers failure or yield point

  • Decreases thickness of collagen fibers

  • Changes Disc Bio-chemistry

  • Decreases oxygen

  • Decreases glucose

Bone:

  • Decreases bone density

  • Eburnation (bone degeneration)

  • Osteophyte formation (bone Spurs)

Muscle:

  • Decrease thickness of collagen fibers

  • Decreases oxidative potential 

  • Decreases muscle mass

  • Decreases mitochondria

  • Increases connective tissue fibrosis

At Platinum Chiropractic our focus is to reduce the SMDs in your body through our Neuro-Structural Corrective care. This is exactly what we are doing when we check and adjust your body. We are restoring your body to normal movement, so that it can function as it was designed.

Movement Deficiency Syndrome

Dr. James Chestnut, who we had the opportunity to present this weekend, coined the term ‘Movement Deficiency Syndrome’ to identify the necessity of both physical activity and exercise on human physiology, function, and health. Physical activity and exercise are necessary components to keeping our bodies in working order, via supporting our genetic requirement for sufficient and pure movement. Our genes literally require movement to express healthy adaptation from our environment, Epigenetics 101. Unfortunately, according to a 2001 study “approximately 70% of adults in the United States do not undertake the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five or more times per week, which includes those 24% of Americans who have no physical activity.” And this happens to only be the minimum amount that is required to avoid a chronic disease! (Brozinick et al.,Molecular Cell 7: 1085-1094, 2001)

We have a big job to do by teaching everyone we can about the exceptional benefits of physical movement and exercise. It could literally save someone’s life, is accessible, and all you just have to do is mimic our ancestral hunter-gatherer patterns. Daily physical activity is an integral part of our genetic make up. What we’ve found works best, is a rhythm of days of high intensity exercise, reminiscent of hunting, alternated with days of rest and light activity. Keep in mind, this exercise didn’t include basic physical activities of building and moving camp, cooking, cleaning, butchering, carrying water, and other requirements for survival also done on a daily basis. Many modern diseases, not including Osteoarthritis, did not exist when we lived as a society according to hunter-gatherer patterns in the pre agricultural age, about 10,000 years ago. Our genes have changed very little from that time period to now, however our day to day activity level has. As humans we require more exercise and movement to stay healthy. (Booth et al. J Appl Physiol 93: 3-30, 2002)

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t living in a society that innately supports lifestyles required for daily survival, i.e. walking to get water. The positive side of living in this day and age is we now have a clearer understanding of what is necessary to stay healthy. 

The short of it is, our genes require movement, and we have modern practices that can fulfill these requirements.

Daily Requirements:

  • Mobility: Moving our joints in all available ranges of motion as done during practices of stretching and Yoga. 

  • Cardiorespiratory: Elevation of your heart rate through movement and exercise for an absolute minimum of 30 min.  

3-5 Times Per Week Requirements:

  • Muscle Loading: Using our muscles to complete tasks such as carrying, climbing, and hunting. If you do not hunt or climb daily, this requirement can be fulfilled through body weight movements or external objects such as weights. 

  • High Intensity Activity: Performing intervals of burst exercises such as a 1-3 repetition maximum weight lift, intervals of 100 meter sprints, or about 12 seconds of maximal exertion. Additionally we must perform a sub-maximal exertion for a moderate duration, such as intervals of 200-400 meter sprints.

At Platinum Chiropractic our goal is to provide each of our practice members with the best in Neuro-Structural care as well as the latest in health science information. When we improve the alignment and motion of the spine, we are adjusting your body and allowing it to regain its genetic requirement for movement and exercise. This is why moving well is one of our principles of health.