Dysafferentation: a novel term to describe the neuropathophysiological effects of joint complex dysfunction. A look at likely mechanisms of symptom generation.
Seaman DR. Winterstein JF.
Research and Development, NutrAnalysis, Inc., Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Since the founding of the chiropractic profession, very few efforts have been made to thoroughly explain the mechanism(s) by which joint complex dysfunction generates symptoms. Save for a few papers, only vague and physiologically inconsistent descriptions have been offered. The purpose of this article is to propose a precise and physiologically sound mechanism by which symptoms may be generated by joint complex dysfunction. DATA SOURCES: The data was accumulated over a period of years by reviewing contemporary articles and books, and subsequently retrieving relevant papers. Articles were also selected from volumes 1-4 of the Chiropractic Research Archives Collection. The Nexus, published by the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library, and In Touch, published by Logan College of Chiropractic Library, were reviewed and relevant articles were retrieved. Medline searches were found to be ineffective because appropriate key indexing terms were difficult to identify. DATA SYNTHESIS: The symptoms generated by joint complex dysfunction, such as pain, nausea and vertigo, are probably caused by increased nociceptive input and/or reduced mechanoreceptive input. CONCLUSIONS: Joint complex dysfunction should be included in the differential diagnosis of pain and visceral symptoms because joint complex dysfunction can often generate symptoms which are similar to those produced by true visceral disease.