You Wouldn’t Use A Rock To Pound Nails

Nobody really wants to learn the hard way. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t lucky enough to forgo that as far as our health is concerned. It’s relatively easy to get suckered into doing the hard way first. I know I have. 

When we aren’t well, we try to fix it. It’s easiest to fix a problem using the tools that we are most familiar with. Even if that means we are using rocks to pound nails instead of hammers. In order to know which tool is right for the job, we have to know what actually needs the fixing. 

Subluxation, misalignment of the spine diminishing nerve function, is one of the primary causes of un-wellness in the body. These diminished nerve functions and how they impact the body can have an almost unlimited negative impact on our wellbeing. If  our body is no longer functioning up to its full potential, its chemical processes are altered. This is sickness. When we get sick we will traditionally go to a doctor or “suck it up.”  Neither of these outcomes is ideal. By “sucking it up” we bury our heads in the sand and hope that it goes away, which almost always does not work. If we chose the alternative, we will go to the doctor and choose chemicals to change the dysfunctional process in our bodies. 

It can be a leap of faith to rely on the testimonies and stories about patients responding well with chiropractic care. Even I can attest to that. Anecdotes and tall tales will quickly turn me off if there is no hard and fast evidence to back claims up. Fortunately, there are many examples of chiropractic studies and research that demonstrate its effectiveness. For example, consider high blood pressure. Many of us are afflicted with it or at least know a handful of people who have it. Conventional wisdom recommends lowering our sodium (salt) and taking drugs to lower our blood pressures. Some people require multiple prescriptions and their pressures continue to climb! Blood pressure increases are very frequently related to subluxations (there’s that word again!) of the upper most bone in the neck. This bone can actually physically misalign enough to put pressure on the vertebral artery and causes the body to increase blood pressure to overcome that!

In 2007, Bakris set out to demonstrate the connection between neck subluxations and high blood pressures. He took two groups of people with similar high blood pressures and gave one group chiropractic adjustments. The other group received no adjustment. After eight weeks, the blood pressures of both groups were compared. The group that received the adjustments had improved more than the typical results of taking two prescriptions while the other group remained unchanged!

Next time you pick up your handy rock to do that home repair, stop and ask yourself if a hammer might be the better tool for the job. 


In 10 years I will be completely crippled

I was only 18 and I had just discovered I carried the dreaded gene that would slowly fuse my entire spine into one solid piece. I knew all to well the fate that was bestowed upon me. My father had been ravaged by the disease and I had no memory of him without pain and able to move well. The disease is Ankylosing Spondylitis and it was going to change the way I lived the rest of my life. I had the knowledge that it was usually kickstarted by an injury to the spine and then is followed by pain starting in the hips. Although I hadn’t been injured as seriously as my father had in his parachuting accident, I’d been thrown by enough horses, wrecked enough bikes, and in general wiped out enough to assume my fate was sealed. The nagging pain in my right hip only confirmed it. 

There were decisions to be made, of course, concerning my future. If my spine would be fused—and I turned into the tin man, I would have to choose a career path that would allow me to make a living without having to use my body. I decided to skip enlisting in the army because I assumed I would become useless in just a short manner of time. Instead I went off to college and graduated, like so many others, with a degree that I wasn’t happy with.  Although I knew I could not rely on my back for the rest of my life I still enjoyed working physically and lifting weights. I had discovered lifting kettlebells, which seemed to give my back a little more sense of resiliency. I had enough discomfort between my shoulder blades to sense that I should probably see a chiropractor to get my back “cracked.” At the age of 22, I went to my first chiropractor. I didn’t expect any miracles, and I received none. It would be a few more years until I would be back in a chiropractor’s office. By this time I had invested quite a bit of effort into researching back health and preventing Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was considering returning to school to get a master’s degree in physical therapy when my new girlfriend took me along to see her family chiropractor. At $20 an adjustment I couldn’t make an excuse not to give it another try. If this 70 year old DC had been taking care of her family for four generations he must be doing something right. Over the next two years I would visit him or a former associate of his whenever my back would get unbearable or I had some spare money. As I began to develop a relationship with the DCs, we would have longer and longer conversations. One day, lamenting over my current job, the associate suggested that I become a chiropractor. A few days later I realized that I could, in fact, become a chiropractor and that it made much more sense to pursue that than remain miserable where I was.  I thought long and hard about my decision before I applied to Sherman College of Chiropractic. As the assistant plant manager in an industrial adhesive manufacturing facility I spent a lot of time educating my workers on safety and ergonomics. I was more concerned with them protecting their backs and the rest of their bodies than actually making glue, so why not do that full time?

I was accepted at Sherman College of Chiropractic in the spring of 2013. Almost 12 years after I discovered I had the gene for Ankylosing Spondylitis I remain symptom free. With a little bit of faith and chiropractic, I hope to continue this string of good luck.