Tag Archives: structure

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Does Common = Normal?

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When it comes to health, what has become “normal” in our society is not necessarily the way our body is intended to be. Let’s face it – the world is getting sicker. Many people neglect their health, paying attention to it only when their symptoms become unmanageable. By then, problems can become severe, often becoming irreversible.

All you have to do is look around on your next shopping trip and you’ll see people are more overweight, diseased, and stressed out than ever before. I encounter people on a daily basis whose health is suffering in one way or another, and whose quality of life is suffering due to sickness. Somehow, this commonality has altered our belief of what is normal; we have forgotten that healthy is “normal”.

We have to realize that no one is coming to save us – this is our life, our responsibility. We are the product of our lifestyle choices. As you’ve heard me say time and time again, we are designed to heal – that is our default state. However, due to our current nutrition, movement (or lack thereof) and alignment habits – we’re seeing a huge increase in certain ailments (headaches, forward head posture, poor digestion, etc…).

Pain is not normal. Headaches are not normal. Poor posture, poor digestion, difficulty sleeping are not normal.

The main reason to understand that these things are common but not normal is so that you can get help. If we see them as normal, that infers that we need to suck it up and live with it. When we understand that it is common, but not at all optimal functionally, we can then decide to do something about it.

So, what can you do about it?

Your spine is the foundation of your body, and all of the organs, muscles, and connective tissue are built around it. Therefore, it is easy to understand the critical nature of maintaining structural alignment throughout your life. That is why I sometimes sound like a broken record, constantly suggesting preventive and wellness visits, instead of coming in only when pain is present. I realize that not everyone can afford to due that (side note: as we’ve discussed before – Chiropractic saves you money in the long term.)

Normal structural alignment coupled with a healthy lifestyle means that body is the best it can be to perform optimally. So, at True Health we we focus on the relationship between the nervous system and the spine, as we as incorporating practical help and education about “how we live, how we work, what we eat” and how we exercise. That’s prevention, pure and simple.

It is time to begin expecting health.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Spine

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7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Spine

Our body is an architectural masterpiece – designed to do extraordinary things when functioning optimally. As a Structural Chiropractor, my focus is on the design of your spine. When the spine’s structure matches the blue prints from your DNA, then it is designed to handle the stresses of gravity and a healthy level of activity. However, when the spine loses its proper structure, then those stressors (gravity and activity) can suddenly reveal its weakness. With that in mind, lets look at seven things you may not have known about your spine:

1. Your Spine is the “Lifeline of Your Body” It has the responsibility of carrying more than a million electrical nerve messages between your brain and your body every day. For you to digest food, move your arm, wiggle your toes, or perform a burpee, signals have to traverse from your brain to your spinal cord, which is inside your spine. You have more than 45 miles of nerves in your body, constantly communicating and coordinating all of your actions, whether you are consciously thinking about it or not. It even controls things like your immune system. In many ways, it’s like the electrical system of your house with your brainstem acting as the power source. Make sure your electrical system is working by getting all the necessary structural corrections.

2. We Lose Vertebrae As We Age When we are first born, we start off with 33 vertebrae, but we only end up with 24 by adulthood. As humans grow older, some of these vertebrae fuse together. The five vertebrae that form our sacrum become a single bone and the coccygeal vertebrae – which can vary from three to five bones – fuse together to become one. Thus, the tailbone is formed.

3. Your Body is Equipped with Shock Absorbers Pads of tough, fibrous cartilage, known as intervertebral discs, are sandwiched between your vertebrae. They cushion your vertebrae to absorb shock. The combination of these discs and your S-shaped spine prevent shock to your head when you walk or run. Normal structural alignment can help prevent compressed or degenerated discs from occurring.

4. Your Spinal Cord has an Exceptional Memory That’s why it’s essential to treat it right from an early age. The spinal cord has over 100 joints, at least 220 ligaments and over 120 total muscles. Muscles that attach to the spine are used to provide flexibility, movement, and power. The more aligned your spine is, the more efficiently your muscles can fire, producing more strength. Taking care of structural problems early in life can help prevent secondary conditions (symptoms) from occurring and reduce the amount of chiropractic care needed.

5. Gravity Affects Height Since the spinal cord is roughly 25 percent cartilage, this can affect our height. Astronauts returning from space can be up to 3 percent taller, gaining as much as two inches in height because their cartilage discs expand in microgravity. The rest of us are at our tallest when we first awaken, due to gravity’s shrinking effect throughout the day.

6. You have 71cm The average length of the vertebral column in men is about 71 cm. In women, the average is about 61 cm. The cervical part measures about 12.5 cm, the thoracic part about 28 cm, the lumbar part about 18 cm, and the sacrum and the coccyx about 12.5 cm.

7. The First Cervical Vertebra is also Called the Atlas. Atlas was one of the Titans in Greek mythology. After a fight with Perseus, Atlas was turned to stone and had to carry the weight of the Earth and heavens on his shoulders. Therefore, the first cervical vertebra was named the atlas because it carries the weight of the head.  Along with the Axis (the 2nd vertebrae in your neck), these are what we call the Foundational segments of the spine. Many of the secondary conditions we see in our office are due to the structural alignment being off at these segments.

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It’s Not The Load, It’s The Way You Carry It

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“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne

Our body is an architectural masterpiece – designed to do extraordinary things when functioning optimally. As a Structural Chiropractor, my focus is on the design of your spine. When the spine’s structure matches the blue prints from your DNA, then it is designed to handle the stresses of gravity and a healthy level of activity. However, when the spine loses its proper structure, then those stressors (gravity and activity) can suddenly reveal its weakness. In this post, we’ll focus on the cervical spine (your neck).

Structure Determines Function

The presence of a curve in your neck allows for smoother motion of each of your neck vertebra. It also plays a key role in distributing force throughout the discs of the cervical spine. In essence, a C-shaped curve in the neck can and will prevent early breakdown and degeneration of your spinal joints. As the discs and joints begin to breakdown, it can create the environment for inflammation to build up around the nerves, or even lead to disc protrusions and disc bulges.

When the head shifts forward, it causes the shoulders and thoracic spine to round. When left there over time, the facet joints of the neck stop moving smoothly and lock the head in that forward position. This shifting of the spine can also advance the age of your spine through degeneration. However, when this head forward movement is corrected, the rest of the spine will often shift back into a normal position again and reduce the rounding on its own.

How Do We Correct This?

Postural corrective exercises can be performed to strengthen the upper back and neck. Massage therapy can be performed to address the muscular dysfunction and trigger points resulting from this shift. However, if the shifting of the spine is not addressed – then a correction will often not occur. In our office, we use specific adjustments to correct Structural Shifts allow your body to make Structural Corrections naturally and to the extent that is capable for you.

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Optimal Structure = Optimal Function

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Optimal Structure = Optimal Function

The design of any structure dictates what the function of that object will be. Have you ever looked at the structure of the human frame? The spine is truly an incredible feat of engineering. Each piece is placed in a specific way for a specific function. When the spine’s structure matches the blue prints from your DNA, then it can handle the stresses of gravity and a healthy level of activity. However, when the spine loses its proper structure, then stress of gravity and activity can suddenly reveal its weakness.

As a structural chiropractor, it’s my job to detect structural and functional abnormalities of the spine before they become major problems. In humans, structure is dictated by your spine and function is dictated by your nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for the function of every system in the body. When the nervous system has a hiccup, then muscles, organs, or glands may overreact or under react leading to a wide variety of problems called Secondary Conditions.

What Is A Structural Shift?

A structural shifts occurs when a segment of the spine shifts and disrupts the spinal nerves and spinal cord, which can create many different secondary conditions or symptoms. The reason these are called secondary conditions is because they are a result of the primary structural shift, or the underlying cause. This shift will distort the signals going in and out of the brain. As the spine shifts, the spinal cord and spinal nerves will misfire into the brain. This misfiring causes the muscles of the spine to tighten and spasm, and create dysfunction to anywhere where those nerves travel.

The location of the structural shift and where the nerves are being disrupted will give us an idea about your secondary conditions. A structural shift may produce local pain, but this may also have an effect elsewhere in the body. For example, according to a recent study in the Journal of Neurosurgery, deformities in the neck affect the alignment of the hips and pelvis.

What You Can Do About It

The good news is that these problems are almost always preventable. With proper exercise and proper postural awareness, you can save years of wear and tear on the spine, and maintain full function of the delicate nervous system. As with anything else, it’s always important that you protect the parts of your body that you hold most dear through routine check ups. Your spine is no exception.

Reversing structural abnormalities using specific customized chiropractic care gets to the underlying cause of many conditions. The best thing about someone with Normal Structure is that it allows their spine to be stable. When the structural alignment of someone’s spine goes back to normal and it is stable, secondary conditions will often resolve and the nervous system can function optimally.

At True Health Family Chiropractic, we are focused on delivering a full structural correction to the spine. We use structural x-rays, digital structural analysis, and neuromuscular scanning tools to assess the full nature of your problem.

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If You Could Live to 100, Would You Want To?

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long life

If you knew you’d live to be 100, what would you do differently today?

Whether we like it or not, Americans are living longer than ever before. For example, an American male born in 2008 can expect to live to the age of 75, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For girls, it’s 80. Back in 1960, it was 67 for boys and 73 for girls, on average.

Unfortunately, many of today’s generation of seniors and Superseniors are not experiencing the health or the joy of their extended years. Too many of them are rotting away in nursing homes unable to capitalize on their golden years. Their plight has skewed our view of aging giving many of us trepidation and fear about the reality of our extended life span.

NPR recently ran a story which further cements this point. The Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, who asked more than 2000 Americans how they feel about this extended life span. A majority (56 percent) say they aren’t interested in medical treatments that would let them live to see 120. Thirty-eight percent think it’s a fine idea.

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