Three Drivers of Disease: Trauma, Toxicity, & Nerve Interference

With the constant barrage of information about COVID-19, ads for pharmaceuticals that have a longer list of side effects than benefits, and the incessant hum of electronics surrounding us 24/7, it’s no wonder that what “normal” health looks like in our society is far from optimal. Dis-ease seems to surround us on all sides and it isn’t hard to start believing that is how life is meant to be.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The human body is made for balance and flawless functionality.

Our bodies are finely tuned instruments, and much like a high-performance vehicle, in order to perform at optimal levels, they must be in balance. The primary function of our central nervous system is to maintain that balance at all costs and it does so through an intricate communication network between the brain and the body. If that network gets blocked or breaks down in some way, the body itself begins to break down and function poorly, eventually leading to disease.

In his 1910 work, The Chiropractor’s Adjuster, D.D. Palmer postulated that vertebral subluxation caused what he termed “nerve interference” and was responsible for malfunction in the body and the cause of many health issues. He defined subluxation as a slight misalignment of the vertebrae. The misalignment puts pressure on the nerves exiting the misaligned segment and causes interference. Adjusting the misalignment allows the nerves to function properly and helps the body restore and maintain overall wellness. Recent studies have proven what Palmer knew over 100 years ago: misalignment causes a malfunction in the body’s communication network, and that malfunction causes disease.

What is Nerve Interference?

Subluxation, or the misalignment of the vertebra, causes nerve interference. Studies show that even a slight subluxation can have a significant effect on neural impulses and compromise your immune system, organ function, and overall health over time. A 2007 study from the University of Colorado showed that the weight of a dime is all the pressure it takes to decrease nerve function by 60%! Even worse, a 6 % stretch of a nerve decreases its function by up to 70%. But how do subluxations happen and what can be done about them?


Any number of things can cause subluxation, but one primary driver is trauma. It’s easy to see how physical trauma can cause the misalignment of a vertebra- any trauma to your body can cause the spinal column to respond. Everything from falls to poor posture to repetitive motion can lead to subluxation.

Emotional trauma can also cause the body to misalign. Stress or worry can create subluxations as the autonomic nervous system prepares the body to defend itself. Muscles contract to brace the body and can hold your entire spine in imbalance.


Toxins come into contact with your body every day and can cause imbalances in nearly every system. Not only do some everyday toxins directly interfere with nerve function, preventing healthy communication to the brain, but some toxins can also cause your muscles to contract and lead to subluxation in your spine. Everything from air pollution to prescription medications can throw your system into a “fight or flight” response.

Protection or Growth

When our body senses harm, whether it be from an injury, a stressful situation, or exposure to a toxin, our fight-or-flight response kicks in to protect us from the perceived harm. Our brain is constantly monitoring the signals coming from our body to determine whether it is appropriate to be in protection mode or restoration mode. But we can’t be in protection and growth at the same time. The brain weighs all this information- pain, emotional trauma, even negative thoughts- in the same way, and cannot distinguish between a perceived or an actual threat.

Doctors of Chiropractic can help bring the spine back into alignment by finding subluxations and resolving them. Consistent chiropractic treatment will help discover the source of the subluxations and not only provide pain relief in the interim but help treat the root cause of the disorder. If you’re ready to get to the root of your pain and discomfort, call our office today!