Last post began a more in-depth explanation of our exam, showing how as a practicing chiropractor in Greenville we use temperature as an indicator of the health of your autonomic nervous system. Today, on the other hand, will be talking about a different area of your nervous system-the somatic nervous system. This part of your nervous system is responsible for controlling all of your voluntary muscles. Whenever you want to move in any way-run, jump, talk, smile, twist, turn, or bend-you must activate muscles to achieve these actions. And what controls these muscles? That's right, the nervous system. Without a properly functioning somatic nervous system, your muscles cannot respond appropriately in order to accomplish your desired activities.
At Continuum Chiropractic of Greenville SC we test the muscles in your back using surface electromyography (sEMG). The technology is the same that cardiologists use when testing your heart with an EKG/ECG. We use probes to measure the electrical activity (known as action potentials) of your muscles after they have been activated by your nerves. Similar to the thermography, we test the muscles on either side of your spine from the top of your neck to the bottom of your back. Also like the thermography, we compare the level of muscle activation from one side of your body to the other because they should be about the same. In addition to the side-to-side comparison, we also compare the level of muscle activation on both sides to an established normal range.
Results outside of normal for either part of this test indicate that your nerves are not communicating properly with your muscles, which is problematic for several reasons. First off, if your muscles are habitually under-activated they can begin waste away. Conversely, if your muscles constantly are over-activated, they can fatigue too easily and be prone to injury. Finally, if the communication between muscles and nerves is incorrect, your body may not move or react to a situation they way that your brain wants it to. This can be especially problematic for athletes or any job or hobby where quick and/or precise movements are required.
The following images show what a scan of a stressed nervous system could look like. The colored lines on the left image indicate areas of muscle over-activation (green = mild, blue = moderate, red = severe. yellow = under-activation). The colored line on the right image indicated muscle over-activation compared to the opposite side (green = mild, blue = moderate, red = severe).
If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office at (864) 640-4096 or fill out our contact form.