Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology, a specialty field of Chiropractic, is concerned with the evaluation of the muscles of all of the joints of the body. This is important as the muscles support the joints and give them stability. Many times it is not sufficient to correct a boney misalignment if there is an associated muscle weakness that leads to a biomechanical instability.

All muscles have nerve fiber endings that perceive the degree of contraction of the muscle and the degree of stretch of the muscle. These are called Golgi Tendon Organs and Spindle Cell Fibers. Between the two they keep each muscle in a type of dynamic tension so that it retains the shape and bulk of the muscle. However, if you over stretch a muscle or over contract a muscle so that there is danger of tearing the muscle these nerve fiber endings perceive this and fire a signal back to the spinal cord where it activates the meridian system which is the acupuncture system. There are a series of points on the meridians that serve like circuit breakers for the muscles and organs of the body. These can “turn off” a muscle or reduce its capacity to contract and stretch to protect it from being injured. Once this is done the muscle functions at a reduced capacity and the joints which it support do not get the support they require and this results in inflammation and loss of function. No amount of rest or therapy can turn these points back on. Only by stimulating the acupuncture points can you bring the muscle back to full strength. A classic example of this is the athlete that has a bad ankle sprain and it gets better but from that point forward he seems to get one ankle sprain after the next. They get the reputation of having weak ankles and are always getting taped to support the ankle.

The muscles on the outside of the calf are called the peroneus muscles and these keep the foot and ankle in a neutral position but when they are weakened as in a bad sprain or fracture they can no longer keep the foot neutral and it tends to turn inward and so with each step the ankle is in danger of turning again and reinjuring itself. By working the acupuncture points for those injured muscles you restore the integrity and strength to the muscle and the joint. This is just one example but we see many patients with diagnosed shoulder, knee, and hip injuries where there is inflammation and at times bursitis involvement. The answer is to restore the strength to the muscles and allow the bursa to calm down and to reduce the inflammation to the joint. At times there may be an actual tear in the muscle such as in a rotator cuff tear. When we feel this may be the case we refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in shoulders for evaluation and MRI for surgical repair. At times the joint may be compromised such as in degenerative changes in a hip. These we can see on x-ray and can tell you immediately that you require evaluation for joint replacement.

Neither Chiropractic nor Acutherapy is a cure all but what it does it does very well. The Applied Kinesiology gives us one more avenue of care which we can provide to get you back in the game.