Often times when we experience pain, we also experience stiffness and tightness in the surrounding muscles. A common question is whether or not the muscles pull the vertebrae out of alignment with its contraction?
The nervous system, which is made up of our brain, spinal cord, and all the peripheral nerves that stem from the spinal cord, is the master system which controls every other system in our body, including the muscular system. Without proper information coming from the brain to the spinal cord, and out to the peripheral nerves which then contracts or relaxes the muscles, those muscles will atrophy.
With this logic, the muscles do not pull the bone out of place. Rather, muscles serve as a defense mechanism to protect the spinal structure and/or any joint in our body from further injury. Muscles function as a natural splint; therefore, when we experience pain we also have stiffness. This is the reason why massages and prescribed muscle relaxers give us temporary symptomatic relief.
Our goal is to find the CAUSE of the problem, instead of chasing the SYMPTOMS. The Gonstead Method of analysis aims to correct the problem vs. masking it with temporary fixes. When the vertebrae are aligned, and the inflammation is reduced, the muscles will loosen up because there is no longer a reason to protect the joint. This is when therapeutic massage is prescribed for maximum benefit.