The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Gait Analysis: You can run, but you can not hide!

Do you ever notice how people walk while you are at the mall? Some people have different walking pattern. Some walk like penguins, some walk with a huge arm swinging like they are fighting someone, and some are unable to bend their joints. It is obvious that there are different movement in people’s walking. Some are caused by injuries, body structure and or level of fitness.

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Most people think that if they can walk or run so they are functionally doing fine. Yes, you can run, but you cannot hide from your problems in your gait. These type of dysfunctional running and walking creates impact to all of your joints resulting in instability, eventual degeneration and arthritis. When people think they can still walk, just wait. One little impact can force you into possible surgery or permanent disability. Too many people wait until the last minute to correct their problems and by then it is already too late.

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Before it is too late, there is an assessment tool called “Gait Analysis”. In the scientific study of Gait analysis, they dissect the motion from the step off to arm swinging. Firstly, to understand it, what is Gait analysis?

Gait Analysis: A Scientific Study

Gait analysis is the systematic study of human motion, using the eye and the brain of observers,  measuring body movements, body mechanics, and the activity of the muscles.

The parameters taken into account for the Gait analysis are as follows:

  • Step Length
  • Stride Length
  • Cadence
  • Speed
  • Dynamic Base
  • Progression Line
  • Foot Angle
  • Hip Angle
  • Squat Performance

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The Gait analysis is modulated or modified by many factors, and changes in the normal gait pattern can be transient or permanent. The factors can be of various types:

  • Extrinsic: such as terrain, footwear, clothing, cargo
  • Intrinsic: sex (male or female), weight, height, age, etc.
  • Physical: such as weight, height, physique
  • Psychological: personality type, emotions
  • Physiological: anthropometric characteristics, i.e., measurements and proportions of body
  • Pathological: for example trauma, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal anomalies, psychiatric disorders

 

Chiropractic Analysis of Gait:

This gait analysis gives many detailed information about a person’s functional capacity to survive. There are many healthcare professions that use this analysis to diagnose health conditions and disorders. For Chiropractors, it is a topic of objective assessment that yields almost immediate results in their chiropractic adjustment.

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Chiropractic Observation of Gait Analysis:

During walking/running there is effect of gravity where your body weight the musculoskeletal structures to keep your body upright. After wear and tear from minor to major injuries our bodies and our proper mechanics change. The impact of the body weight and gravity, eventually force those into our gait.

Without consciously thinking about changing the gait, we walk or run with the assumption that everything is functionally good unless there is enough a dramatic injury that causes us to have difficulty walking. Take limping for example. As well as chiropractor, we realize these gait mechanisms are crucial and are a matter of survival to walk or run as well as be able to go to place to place.

For chiropractors, watching the dynamics of walking/running shows the functionality of the spine and joints that are working in unison. There should be good elasticity and recoil in each stride from all the extremities so that the motion of our walking/running is forward instead of wasting energy by unnecessary movements.

Why Bother?

We all walk to places and the more mobile we are the healthier we are. Once people are static and stationary our lives deteriorate significantly. Being able to walk and run helps the circulation and neurological stimulation of the brain. When we are sedentary, our body degenerates and atrophies and our ability to survive is gone. For our survival, walking and running is a important factor in our lives. Our body is made to enjoy and live life instead of surviving life.

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There are two major factors that will catch your attention. It is acceleration of degeneration of your joints and neurological degeneration.

Acceleration of Degeneration

For those who have bombarded their joints with so much impact the joint tends to wear down faster. After wearing down the joints, eventually the bone on bone starts to grind on each other causing osteoarthritis. People who can have this can be as young as teenager an elderly depending on how they stress their body. Some people will ruin their body with extreme sports and improper body mechanics in their athletic training.

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The improper mechanics begins when joints are injured and become unstable. When this unstable joint is not taken care of and properly stabilized, the impact of the joint will cause further damage and eventual because bone deformation. The constant impact of wear and tear eventually will change the joints and further bone degeneration. Most often times the joints become very loose after streching of the muscle tendons and ligaments which it is termed “hypermobile.” When the joint is having muscle spasm and increased edema it will be stiff, and be termed “hypomobile”. These damaged joints initially starts with many clicks and cracks into the joint.

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The cracking in the joint happens because it is the body’s way to create a balance (based upon gravity) and to create motion where the usual mechanics are changed. (Please do not think that inducing cracking of the joint will help alleviate the problem because it may worsen the joint mechanics even more) By analyzing an individuals gait, joint mechanics are quickly investigated to identify where these audible cracks and clicks are coming from. Most often times it is the muscles grinding on other muscle or bones because of the joint instability. The best way to avoid bone degeneration is to create a smooth transition of arm and leg swing that will not create improper impact in each step. Consequently, the brain will not have additional pain signals coming from our joints.

Neurological Degeneration

Our joints uses nerve receptors called proprioceptors to send information of orientation in space while you are in dynamic motion or static stand still. Having good joint alignment helps the body in proper body mechanics and proper neuro-physiology that influence our body chemistry. If any of these receptors are shut down nociceptors send pain signals instead.

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Nociception is the sensory nervous system’s response to certain harmful or potentially harmful stimuli. In nociception, mechanical (e.g., cutting, crushing) stimulation of sensory nerve cells (nociceptors) produces a signals that travel along a chain of nerve fibers via the spinal cord and brain. Nociception triggers a variety of biological and behavioral responses and may also result in a subjective experience of pain.

Nociceptors are found in the skin, on internal surfaces such as the periosteum, joint surfaces, and in some internal organs. The concentration of nociceptors varies throughout the body; they are found in greater numbers in the skin than in deep internal surfaces such as muscle, joint, skin, cornea, bladder, gut, dorsal root ganglia and trigeminal neuralgia. Mechanical nociceptors respond to excess pressure or mechanical deformation.

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Once these nociceptors are over stimulated they start to cause over stimulation in the spinal cord and brain. The chronic pain, for most individuals, causes sedentary life style. They are not able to exercise or end up with little to no motion. Eventual atrophy of muscles and nerve will be a indirect result of overstimulation of the pains signals from mechanical deformation or degeneration.

You can run but you can’t hide.

Many people think that the are healthy and walking by running, but in some causes difficulty in gait may be evident. Once our joints are having mechanical problems, there are spasms and adhesion in the joints. When there is less recoil and motion in a joint the muscles atrophy and bones degenerate. Once they overstimulate the nerves with pain, eventual sedentary life style progresses. Less motion in the joints means less nutrients going to all the muscles and joints and eventual degeneration of the nerve, muscle, and bone follows.

Just because you think you can move with walking or running, it doesn’t mean you are in an optimal, functional state. The eventual degeneration is apparent with a trained person’s clinical observation of an individual and walking, running patterns. This is also apparent in any athletic activities.

At our office, we every possible way to observe the problem so that we can be as specific as possible with the chiropractic adjustment. Not only gait but also x-rays, neurological examinations, and taking oral history. If any of you would like to address their problems, please contact us at info@zenchiropracticinc.com.

 

 

 

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Good, Bad, and the Ugly. Crack My Neck for Relieving Pain.

There are many situation where your spine will crack on its own or intentionally cracking them. The cracking of the spine in any different situations has an effect that can be good, bad, or ugly.

Good:

After a certain time period of a Chiropractic adjustment the spine tends to realign the other vertebra on their own. Most likely the other vertebra were not in the right position are starting to go in the right position by themselves. When your body introduces any kind of force, such as when you are doing light stretching, turning, bending the spine realign. There is nothing to fear but to let your Chiropractor know what happened. Check out the former blog about this topic: https://zenchiropractic.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/what-happens-when-my-spine-goes-pop/

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When your spine pops and pain follows immediately then the joint became unstable and causing inflammation and muscle spasm. Even if you didn’t put much stress or any motion to the spine something pops and then the muscles around are creating spasms and sharp pain. Often times these situations are were the vertebra was already starting to fall out of place and it was a matter of time when it went out of position. In this case put ice on the area and get to a Chiropractor that will use x-ray, neurological exams, and education on what has happened and properly adjust that vertebra.

Ugly:

Unprofessional person intentionally twisting of the neck or low back of themselves or to others may create the cracking noise but then they will cause tendon and ligament to tear and create more instability. Over twisting the neck without proper examinations and professional skill then people are in risk  possibly damaging artery integrity that is already weakens and may cause cardiovascular problems to the brain. The mistake is to think that by over twisting the joint the crack is more intense and the better you feel.

26real_450That cracking noise is not what Chiropractic is defined by but that is a very big misunderstanding. Cracking in your joints creates a endorphin response that gives you a euphoria for a moment but does not solve the actual joint problem. Properly correcting your spine takes a long training from a graduate level school and getting a state license. A grand total of 4485 hours of clinic hours with health science education. Many people attempt cracking their neck and low back themselves or ask others that are not professionals to crack their spine.

There are many other professional and non-professionals that try to say that they do chiropractic. Professionals such as massage therapists, physical therapists, sports therapists, and even some medical doctors to copy chiropractic because they know how effective Chiropractic care is. Non-professionals such as your friends, families, people you meet at the bar or parties, or any individual that offer to crack your spine or neck on the street. This is why people have incidence of having a very bad experience with cracking their neck or back because they think it is just cracking is what helps the person. People could get damage to their muscles and ligaments, and damage to the artery structure in the neck.

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Dr. Gonstead’s Story:

Dr. Gonstead once had a farmer couple come to his office. The wife of this farmer was in a lot of back pain. Dr. Gonstead found the problem after careful analysis and adjusted the spine and told them to come back next week. The farmer couple did not come back. In fact, they didn’t come back for months. Then the farmer couple came back and the wife of the farmer was in a lot worse back pain. Dr. Gonstead analyzed again and it was much worse condition then before, so he asked the wife what happened. The farmer’s wife confessed that her husband tried to copy Dr. Gonstead after watching him adjust his wife after they went back home. They thought they could do the adjustment themselves not knowing how much science and careful skill that Chiropractic adjustment involved.

Summary:

There are many occasions were your spine will crack on its own. Some are fine because it is the process of our body to correct and heal itself. Some are bad because the spine got very unstable and finally went out of place. The worse is just because you want to feel the euphoria and cracking your neck or low back and causing a major set back of unstable joints does not help yourselves or the person you are trying to help. You could even cause serious damage to yourself or to others. It is not about cracking your neck and it is not about being a crack dealer for people. If it is about helping people, you should become a Chiropractor or go seek one to help your friend. They will find the cause and stabilize the situation.


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Health, Symptoms & Adaptation

Symptoms, although unpleasant, are signs that the body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

 

Disease is a lack of co-ordination between Innate, the source of power, and its expression. –D.D.Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic.

 

Adaptation = Health

To be truly healthy, you must be able to adapt to life’s stresses. As Nobel Prize winner Rene Dubos, PhD says: Good health is a process of continuous adaptation to the myriad microbes, irritants, pressures and problems which daily challenge man.

You’re Constantly Adapting

You must adapt to so many things: changes in the weather: the bacteria, viri and fungi that enter you as you breathe; cancer cells, with their deranged genetic instructions that constantly arise within; pollution and chemicals; cuts, bumps and bruises; school, work, marriage, babies, bills, a mortgage—and you must deal with them all. For if you did not…

…a hot summer’s day would boil your brain; a winter’s night would freeze you solid; every inhalation would bring massive infection; tumors would overwhelm you; a small cut would drain your blood. Without adaptation alcohol and other drugs would never break down, a moment’s anxiety would not end…you’d remain intoxicated, or terrified, for life.

Shivering And Fevers

Thankfully, we usually adapt to life’s stresses because many mechanisms are built into us for that purpose. They’re as simple as shivering in cold and sweating in heat; as elaborate as our immune system engulfing a cancer cell or bacterium and a fever to “burn off” and infection; as dramatic as an adrenaline rush when confronting danger or as unpleasant as vomiting or diarrhea to discharge toxins.

They all say the same thing: Survive! What if we can’t adjust to change? As Hans Selye, MD, PhD, world famous researcher on stress says: The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness…many nervous and emotional disturbances, high blood pressure, gastric and duodenal ulcers, and certain types of sexual, allergic, cardiovascular, and renal derangement appear to be…diseases of adaptation.

For successful adaptation to life’s stresses your body needs balance (homeostasis).

From This Perspective

Viewed from this perspective, symptoms such as fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, skin eruptions, sneezing, inflammation and others—although unpleasant—aren’t a matter of bad luck or, as people once thought, curses from angry gods. Rather, they are signs that your body is struggling to adapt to stress and regain balance.

By lowering fever, preventing diarrhea or vomiting, pushing ourselves when we should rest, suppressing skin eruptions, fighting inflammation and in general not permitting the body to express symptoms, we interfere with the body’s adaptatory mechanisms to reestablish our balance (homeostaisis) and health.

The orthodox medical approach is often a suppressive form of healthcare. Medicine seeks to eliminate symptoms. Chiropractic and other vitalistic healthcare systems view symptoms as part of a healthy response to imbalance.

Empirical or vitalistic (natural) healers do not, as a general rule, suppress symptoms. Instead they work with and enhance your body’s natural recuperative, self-healing and homeostatic (balancing) mechanisms. Vitalism is an expressive form of healthcare.

Medical care is, at times, necessary. Medicine has a place. But it must be seen as only one facet of healthcare, used when necessary and in conjunction with chiropractic and other natural healthcare systems.

Suppressing symptoms may cause chronic illness.

Imagine Three Dolls

One doll is made of glass. The second doll is made of plastic, the third of steel.

Strike each doll with a hammer (representing physical or emotional stress)—what will happen?

The glass doll will shatter. This represents those individuals who are unable to adapt to life’s stresses, get seriously ill and may die.

The plastic doll will scar. This represents those who will not be killed but who are hurt or damaged by the stress. They will recover, but will never completely heal.

The steel doll rings with a pleasant tone. This represents those who, when confronted by stress, adapt quickly and thrive.

Better Adaptation With Chiropractic

Your body’s wisdom uses your nervous system as a communications system to send messages between your internal environment (body chemistry) and your external environment (the world) to maintain homeostasis or balance between you and the world.

When the communications are flowing over your nerves without interference your body and mind are more sensitive ad attuned to your life and your needs. Your are a “steel doll”.

By keeping your spine and nervous system free of blockages you better adapt to life’s stresses and challenges.

Our Goal For You

Our goal as chiropractors is to keep your spine and nervous system free of blockages so your ability to adapt to life’s stresses and challenges is enhanced. You will be stronger, more stable and more secure; you will thrive, grow, better enjoy life and continue on your journey to be the best you can be. Life’s challenges will become adventures, stepping stones to help bring out the best in you so that you will be fulfilled, happy and in tune with the magic of life.

Every organ and system in your body works to maintain you in internal and esternal harmony.


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What is Chiropractic Treatment?

Chiropractic care is always misunderstood with medical care. Once the symptoms are gone, then the client tends to think that they have no need of care. This is a medical understanding of Chiropractic care. Chiropractic is originally was more concerned about function of the body and the cause of the symptoms. Chiropractic should not be misunderstood as treatment care or therapy because they remedies the symptoms. Chiropractic is all about finding the cause and finding solutions instead of covering up the symptoms. Chiropractic doesn’t treat symptoms but rather they observe the cause of the symptoms and when the cause are gone then there is no need to do any chiropractic adjustments.

What are they really looking for? Chiropractors are looking for the cause of the symptoms which is subluxations. Subluxations are slight dislocation of the spinal segment that chokes the nerve and limits or interrupt the communication and function of individual nerves that connects to muscles movements, heart functions, and many more! Once these subluxations are gone, there is nothing to change. If there are signs of subluxations then that is what Chiropractors adjust and restore and monitor. If there are signs of subluxations then the Chiropractic adjustments continue.

How do Chiropractors monitor subluxations? Many Chiropractors do physical examination of range of motion, pain scale questionnaire, orthopedic tests to measure that the symptoms are gone. Although this method is still only measuring symptoms so in this set of examination they are only looking to cover up the symptoms. There are Chiropractors that goes further and take radiological examinations and have x-ray films to see the spine and re-take x-ray films after a certain amount of time. The public and normal people are not educated in looking at x-ray films and anatomy of our skeletal structures. That means we are on the mercy of the Chiropractor to tell us if we are progressing well. Most often times they say that there is progress and we just agree because we don’t want to look like we have no idea what they are saying. There are also other assessments for subluxations such as monitoring spinal thermographs, static electromyograph, electrocardiographs, and many more assessment tools.

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Some chiropractors use x-rays mostly as a scare tactic to make you fearful of your condition and sign up for chiropractic adjustments and never use them. Very caring, objective, and scientific Chiropractors are always looking at them when the client comes in and analyzing and comparing the x-rays to the client as a reference. Most of the time Chiropractors want to see if there are specific conditions such as fractures, malformation of the bone structures, and degeneration. This will help to specify the Chiropractic adjustments for more efficient structure in the body so that adaptation to stress is more efficient. When x-rays are taken, many Chiropractors are not being careful of positioning the client and sometimes create a scoliosis like appearance to the x-ray. Which means they are adjusting the spine thinking there is scoliosis but there really was an misinterpretation.

The most important part of using x-ray in the progress of care is to see if the Chiropractic adjustments are improving degeneration, changing the structure of the spine, and further specify the chiropractic adjustments for the clients.

Neurological/Physical Examination:

hc_epilepsy_diagnosis_neurological_exam_articleMany Chiropractors check for pain levels, sensations on different areas of your arms, feet, orthopedic tests, neurological reflexes, checking range of motion of the neck or low back. Many times these tests are necessary for very sever conditions and not always accurate for subluxations. Most of these tests are orthopedic medical doctor’s procedures and is not designed for assessing subluxations. Often times these exams are initially examined but it is not too often that the results are re-examined again. The results are not explained and does not correlate very well with the clients problems. Many health insurances require the Chiropractors to do these tests for insurance to cover the chiropractic adjustments.

Computerized Neurological Examination:

There are many emerging assessment technology for subluxations to make the chiropractic adjustments to be specific and have better idea of the progress of the persons health. Subluxation Station from Chiropractic Leadership Alliance has been in the industry for more then 20 years. Most common assessment have been measuring heat patterns of the spinal areas called Spinal thermography. Subluxations has inflammation of the nerve and the spinal thermography detect areas of subluxations and the conditions and progress of each nerve. Another common assessments is measuring the state of muscle spasms with static electromyograph. Subluxations causes muscle spasms with imbalanced contraction of muscles. By using the static electromyographs we can see the how new or old the subluxations are. After a number of chiropractic adjustments the muscle condition can show us how our body is adapting to our stressful environments. A recent technology has been used for assessing subluxation is electrocardiographs. This is measuring the variability of our heart rate to assess how our body is adapting to the environment. Our body is dynamic and constantly adapting to different environments. Electrocardiographs will help chiropractors to assess their chiropractic adjustments are getting rid of the subluxations and helping people to have their body to adapt to the environment.

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Chiropractic Adjustment:

In the media chiropractic adjustment is often confused with twisting the neck or low back quickly and making a cracking noise that reduces the pain. First ever chiropractic adjustment was not as such. D.D. Palmer investigated the medical history of a partially deaf man, Harvey Lillard. Lillard informed Palmer that while working in a cramped area seventeen years earlier, he felt a ‘pop’ in his back, and had been nearly deaf ever since. Palmer’s examination found a sore lump which he believed was a spinal misalignment and a possible cause of Lillard’s poor hearing. Palmer claimed to have corrected the misalignment and that Lillard’s hearing improved. Two important things from this D. D. Palmer: Chiropractic was not discovered to help back pain, Chiropractic was discovered because chiropractic adjustment helped restored the function of the body.

Chiropractic adjustment and Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy

Often times Chiropractic adjustment is confused with osteopathic manipulation therapy. Chiropractic has always been about restoring spinal misalignment and correcting subluxation only. Osteopathic manipulation therapy is a broader spectrum of therapeutic options in addition to thrust techniques, among which are  myofascial release, muscle energy, counterstrain, visceral manipulation, prescribe medication, and surgery.

Chiropractic Adjusting Devices vs. Chiropractic Manual Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments have various techniques and some use tools to adjust the spine. Traditionally, chiropractic adjustment was performed by hand only. In the latest century there were many devices innovated to do the adjustment such as activator, adjustor, and many more are out there. Many people prefer the chiropractic devices because they seem safer. Although, there are controversies whether the chiropractic devices helps people. With Chiropractor’s adjusting manually by hand only, experience is the best indicator of getting best results for clients with specific conditions. Younger the chiropractor doesn’t mean less experience because some people will practice and discipline themselves to learn how to sharpen their skills.

Specific Chiropractic Technique websites such as Gonstead Clinical Studies Society shows the Gonstead technique practitioners when they attended the last seminars and how many years they are in practice. This may not always be the best indicator of how much practice and skill a chiroipractor has. If anyone is looking for a skilled chiropractor, please contact the office.

Office:952-500-8733

http://www.zenchiropracticinc.com