Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Will You Do When Your Spine Wears Out?

Interesting question with no good answers. You would think by the way most people take care of their spine that they believe it will last forever.  Maybe its because they're used to thinking that you can replace almost anything including knees or hips or maybe it's because they think that their spine will never wear out and if it does they'll just need a surgical "tune up" if things get too bad....OR.... maybe most people don't give it much thought, because they can't see it.

I tend to believe the last reason is the real answer.  For the most part, we don't take care of the things we can't see.  Whether its the regular maintenance of a car (oil, filters, brakes, etc..) or the inner systems of our body (cardiovascular, immune, nervous system, etc....), these things tend to get neglected.  Although, sometimes I think people spend more time and energy on their cars than they do on their bodies. 

Plastic surgery is booming because if we can see it, we will usually work to improve it;  augmentations, liposuction, rhinoplasty, hair replacement, teeth whitening and teeth straightening, just to name a few, are all "outside" changes that for the most part have little to no affect on health. So what about the things inside your body that you cannot see that actually DO affect your health: your cardiovascular system, your immune system, your nervous system? Most people pay absolutely no attention to these parts until their bodies dope slap them & they experience a secondary symptom like a heart attack, an illness, or a pain that forces them to PAY ATTENTION. 

If you realized the most important system in your body is protected and energized by your spine would you think differently?  What if you knew "Wolve's Law"?  That bone remodels to stress, and when your spine is under abnormal stress due to poor alignment, the bones will remodel and slowly change shape.  AKA- osteoarthritis. This is NOT hereditary or due to aging, although it does get worse the longer the problem has been around.  This is simple physics and joint biomechanics. Abnormal alignment leads to abnormal wear, which FORCES your body to try & fix the problem by adding new bone. This can be  avoided if the affected joints are corrected and aligned properly because now the joint can function properly and better withstand the normal forces put upon it.  I never enjoy having to explain to a patient that their spine has deteriorated so badly that the problem cannot be corrected.  In these circumstance, their most likely path will be temporary relief of a secondary condition whether its by means of conservative care, medication, or surgery.

Albeit, most people come to our office with some type of secondary condition (Neck or Low Back Pain, Headaches, Disc herniations, Sciatica, Numbness or Tingling, Etc.....)  Many times these secondary conditions could have been avoided if they took better care of the Structure of their Spine. 

This is why we take special structural x-rays to asses the blueprint of your spine.  If you can't see it, then your guessing, and I don't like to guess with people's health.  Please don't treat your spine like it can be replaced, because it CANNOT!  Knowing the condition of your spine is valuable information and can help you make better decisions regarding your current health.

Have a Great Day!

Dr. Deane