Jumping from a steel bridge while attached to a bungee cord causes large elastic strains and deformation in the bungee cord. At the same time it causes infintissimally small elastic strains in the bridge and small but larger, hopefully elastic strains in the jumper’s body. On the other hand, whiplash and other suddden jerky or even slow sustained types of injuries to the spine can cause chronic micro plastic types of strains.
Chiropractors collectively catergorize all mechanical strains of the spine as subluxations. Technically speaking, subluxations are micro mechanical plastic strains of the spine that cause dis-ease in physiology, which is function. Some chiropractors argue that subluxations must include interference to communication in the nervous system, and that the only place where interference can occur is in the upper cervical spine. It is an age old arguement in chiropractic.
All strains of the spine, however, alter physiology. Furthermore, the spine is a structure, not a bunch of isolated segments so that one faulty segment can impact the function of the whole structure. Strains of the upper spine can affect the lower spine just as strains of the lower spine can affect upper areas. A spine that lists due to scoliosis from leg length discrepancy affecting its base can affect the upper cervical spine. Likewise a ten pound head that lists to one side can affect segments much further below, including the low back and legs. Furthermore, abnormal curvatures of the spine have been shown to affect the contents of the spinal canal, especially the vertebal veins, as they get compressed up against the inside curve of the canal, which can result in venous congestion and sluggish blood flow in the area. Lastly, deformation of the cartilage of the spine, called discs, can compress nerve roots directly, while other types of spinal strains deform soft tissues tunnels such as thoracic outlets in the shoulder girdle and the femoral and sciatic foramen in the pelvis.
The upper cervical spine, however, is without question one of the most critical areas of the spine, subject to a great deal of wear and tear stress that starts with birth and sometimes results in chronic strains called subluxations. The differece between upper cervcial strains and those that occur further down in the spine is that upper cervical subluxations, that is strains, affect the health of the brain and cord.
Among other things, upper cervical subluxations are associated with deformation, albeit small, of hard and soft tissue tunnels that contain critical circulatory routes for blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow, including venous drainage routes used to drain the basement of the brain during upright posture. Thus, UC subluxations can result in CCSVI. But they also do much more. The fact of the matter is, UC subluxations don’t simply pinch nerves, as chiropractors like to say, nor do they simply interfere with communication between the brain and the body. In contrast to a fracture of the UC spine that can kill a person instantly, upper cervical subluxations slowly strangle the life out of the brain and cord.