Thursday, April 29, 2010

Snap, Crack, Pop- Cereal or Adjustment?

Much discussion has taken place around the noise often heard with an adjustment and there is still a lot of confusion as to what the noise is, what it means, and what is happening. So let's define some language and eliminate some confusion.

Adjustments restore function and stimulate the nerve system. They do not correct the spine's shape, restore curves, or reduce Forward Head Posture (FHP) with any permanency.

An adjustment serves 2 purposes:
     1. Stimulates the nerve system- one of the most valuable purposes of an adjustment.
     2. Unlocks or mobilizes fixated (improperly moving) joints. (Crucial for maximum effectiveness of a rehabilitation program.)

So what is with the popping or cracking sound that has led to the breakfast cereal confusion? Truth is- we just don't know. There are no studies that I am aware of confirming exactly what causes that noise. There are a couple theories out there but the reality is- it just doesn't matter.

A good adjustment is not dependant on how noisy it is. A good adjustment delivers an outcome (better nerve function and joint mobility).  This is measurable and observable in some very practical and simple in office tests. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Health or Wellness?

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary says, “Health is a condition of physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not a static condition; constant changes and adaptation to stress result in homeostasis (balance).” 

Wellness is achieving and working to stay in that balanced state. Most people think of wellness as eating organic food, participating in activities like yoga or Pilates, and having time for both rest and play. It is that and more.

What if there was one aspect so vitally tied to our health but was missed by approximately 85% of the population? Sadly, there is: the health of your nervous system. Your nervous system controls and coordinates every other system of the body (Gray’s Anatomy- the book not the TV show).

Most people have never had their nerve system’s function evaluated. How do you check the nervous system? The easiest way is to look at posture. When your posture is bad- your nervous system is stressed. The Sealy Institute states that posture effects and moderates (via the nervous system) every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.

The most common postural problem leading to nerve stress is forward head posture (FHP).  FHP causes loss of normal spinal curves when viewed from the side. This causes the whole spine to be thrown out of balance.  Common findings include shoes wearing out unevenly, one pant leg longer than the other, one hand seems more in front of the body than the other, shoulders rounded or slouching. If you notice any of these signs in yourself, a friend, co-worker, or loved one, recommend they get checked.

Benefits of a Pettibon Rehabilitation program, like the one offered at Backbone, include enhanced physical performance, decreased risk of injury, more energy, and improved health. Only when the nervous system is functioning at 100% can you truly achieve wellness.