Joint inflammation and muscular imbalance are a cornerstone feature in those persons who consult with a Chiropractor, and factors that have long been associated with inflammatory arthritis (IA). Conditions Chiropractors are not permitted, to say they can help. Recent work into the specific inflammation of knee joints uncovered a surprising connection to particular brain activity feeds.
Research has shown the way the brain is fed sensory experiences over time impacts knee joint health. What you read, watch, hear, smell, taste touch, think, feel etc (any sense) on an ongoing basis affects the way your brain is stimulated. For example the vagus nerve (CNX) has been found to be able to modulate joint inflammation in the knee on the opposite side of the body. Vagal sensations travel up through the spine and into a part of the brain called the Locus Coeruleus (LC) (1).
When joint inflammation hits it is kinda too late. The (brain) LC over time can suppress or enhance inflammation in the opposite side knee joint. Look to focus on that which you would choose for yourself and not avoiding those things you find imposed upon you. Such as from work, other people’s stuff and misplaced egos.
Today, we might ask about contextual factors (2) rather than reach straight for x rays or MR imaging when reviewing joint pain in Primary and Secondary Care. Whilst tomorrow, we may improved our understanding of the nervous system with regard to health so we can focus on those aspects of living that foster healthy for us, rather than avoid the unhealthy. Health is instrumental. Find your good and play with it.
- Gabriel Shimizu Bassi et al (2017) Modulation of experimental arthritis by vagal sensory and central brain stimulation. Brain Behaviour and Immunology Journal 64 330-343
- Ogdie A et al (2020) Use of PROMIS29 Across Inflammatory Arthritis: Score Distributions and Impact of Contextual Factors. Arthritis Rheumatol. 72 (suppl 10).