Your spine constantly responds to and adapts to both constructive and destructive input. Abnormal mechanics and injury (destructive input) cause a “negative” adaptation resulting in degeneration. Corrective adjustments, and any other constructive input, cause a “positive” adaptation to a more normal level of function.
New research indicates that the spinal cord (like the brain) can store, learn, and remember data, creating learned spinal patterns. Once the spine has adapted to multiple uncorrected problems for years, it has unlearned the normal patterns and now learned negative spinal patterns. Does it make sense that these abnormal spinal patterns could be fully corrected with only one or two adjustments? Of course not.
The spine CAN readapt and begin learning normal spinal patterns with proper input on a constant basis. The orthodontist puts braces on your teeth to apply a constant corrective input for months or years to produce a more normal structure. Once maximum correction is made, they give you a “retainer” to prevent slipping back to the old negative pattern. You wouldn’t expect the orthodontist to put braces on for just a few days or a week and expect to have straight teeth. Chiropractic works much the same way. We have to allow the spine to adapt to the positive input and essentially unlearn the abnormal mechanics and patterns it used to. How quickly this happens is different for everyone. Much of it depends on the individual’s age, habits and actions as well as the nature of the problem and how long it has been present.
From a clinical basis the doctor must have a thorough understanding of spinal mechanics, how a normal spine should be and function and how to unravel the complex multiple adaptive compensations. The symptoms you have today may be a result of a multitude of compensations your spine has gone through to adapt to destructive negative inputs. Chasing these symptoms just scratches the surface at best. To correct the problem we have to go beyond just the symptoms and find the cause. For example, someone might come in with mid back pain (their symptom) that is being caused by years of dysfunction and abnormal spinal patterns in their lower spine. We don’t always treat where it hurts to correct the problem. It is easy to see how medication, bed rest, surgery, exercises, and even “aspirin chiropractic” will never restore normal spinal function.
As a chiropractic physician, specially trained in spinal biomechanics, we must apply our knowledge to best serve the long-term benefit for our patients. As a patient, one must understand that your structure and nervous system must be retrained and relearn normal spinal patterns. It is a process of stripping away layers upon layers of compensations (negative spinal patterns) until the spinal pattern becomes as “normal as possible.” This will depend on your age, genetic factors, how long you have neglected proper care, degenerative changes including compensatory malformation of bony structures, previous injuries, activities, physical conditions, and your level of cooperation.
Spinal problems and back pain are mistakenly classified as “ain’t nothin” problems, “ain’t nothin but a muscle spasm,” or “it’s just a pulled muscle”. These and many other inaccurate diagnoses have conditioned most people into thinking it’s no big deal when in fact these problems can have lasting negative effects if not treated and corrected. This is why we are dedicated to competent scientific approaches that make sense…..so we can make a positive impact on your health, now and in the years to come.
Dr. Jason Schluter is a Chiropractor in Tulsa, OK at Schluter Chiropractic.
Schluter Chiropractic is conveniently located off Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides quality chiropractic care to Tulsa and the surrounding areas.
To schedule an appointment, call (918) 664-3571 or visit www.DrSchluter.com.