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Posted on 01-02-2011
The magic in the adjustment lies in its purpose to begin with. Some people get adjusted to relieve pain and decrease symptoms. That is how I discovered chiropractic! This is probably the most popular reason for seeking a chiropractor and receiving an adjustment. Now here's what I know, and unless you are chiropractor and look at films on a regular basis, most people have no idea.
Where does degeneration (wearing out) of the body come from? Is this normal as we age? Doesn't everyone have this when they reach a certain age? Well, some more than others. Why does the spine of a 30yr old look worse than that of a 65yr old? The answer is force over time. Chances are that the 30yr old was in a car accident when he 16, or had a fall on the ice or bad spill down the stairs. If he didn't have corrective spinal care following the trauma, then the stage is set for a snowball effect for the years to come. Most of the time it is symptom free as a vast array of degenerative changes are happening in the body. Much like a cavity happens over time breaking down the enamel, before we ever get any pain. If your car is out of alignment and you don't know it, you will eventually find out that the tires have not worn evenly and you need to replace them. This is very similar with spinal discs. The disc is a shock absorber between the bones, and if they have had pressure over time, they will age faster than they should and possibly herniate or rupture. When I look at a film it is very easy to see all the disc spaces approximately the same size except for the one or two that are giving the problem. Arthritis comes from the bones having friction or rubbing on other bones. Most people know what a bone spur is, but have no idea where it came from. Bone spurs are laid down by the body, trying to make the best of a bad situation. If the body can't handle the forces or stress at a joint or spinal level, the body will lay down extra bone (spur) to try to help stabilize the area.
So this may give a clue as to why the 30yr and the 65yr old could look so different. I have an 80yr old patient who has been adjusted since he was 4 and he has minimal degeneration and minimal arthritis. If you take care of the frame throughout your life, it will reward you in the future with minimal wear and tear. Dr. Barnhart,our new associate, was training in the office and I had her shoot some new films on me a few weeks ago. I am very pleased to see that the cervical curve in my neck is present and strong. I had to rehab the curve following a whiplash injury from a rugby game in chiropractic college. Knowing what I know now, if i didn't rehab the curve at that time, I may have some permanent damage, and wondering how and why that is present in my neck. This is the situation I see every day in the office. It wasn't the reaching for the dish or picking up the stick. It was the years of wear and tear leading up the the crisis situation. This is why I believe that society in general is becoming more aware about preventative health maintenance. What I do today will affect where my health and well being will be in 10 or 15yrs. People don't HAVE to get adjusted the rest of their lives, they understand the importance of the decisions they make today, and they WANT to!
This is one of the reasons that I get adjusted. I hope you now know a little more of what I do.
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