Aligning technology and chiropractic with science to support patient care in movement, posture and beyond…
LAST MOVEMENT NUMBER PART I we explored why an interactive education process was essential to the patient experience. We have established movement quality as a starting point for care that can center patient behavior around the spine and a physician’s conclusions. In Part II, we will expand on how movement, technology, and chiropractic can serve as the primary point of reference for health.
We can put many health-related decisions into perspective when we understand how the body connects all of our moving parts, from the toes to the brain to the spine. When doctor-patient communication from this perspective is strong and consistent, patients can learn to think, “Am I doing the right thing for my spine? or “Is this movement and positioning good?”
Good posture and breathing
Physical and mental performance are related to the spine not only structurally but functionally. Some of our most valuable functions stem from this fundamental reality.
One of those core functions that always keeps me grounded is breathing. Our endless need for energy can be easily met by the oxygen around us – however, it takes motion to get air in and oxygen to flow through every living cell. We don’t always think of the spine or movement when it comes to breathing, but we can improve this awareness by prioritizing it in our rehabilitation and home classes.
For example, the corrective movement of chiropractic adjustment can help us build good posture and develop breath control. Can we apply the same model to other clinical decisions?
Technologies supporting spine adjustments
When evaluating technologies that can support spinal adjustments, cold laser science has grown significantly in recent years. There is still some mystery and misperception about what laser is and isn’t made of.
While it may be tempting to focus on pain relief protocols in any modality, why stop when we can be more specific in our clinical choices? The key to moving beyond pain and towards correction is to understand the complexity of the spine and pain. In the spine we have the vertebral subluxation complex. We are not talking about the muscle or the bone, or the joint, or the ligament, or the tendon; we approach the complex through the corrective movement.
The fit is so efficient this way, and hard to compete with. If we are to complete practical spine care, we must keep the standard high or risk diluting our whole approach. So when it comes to modalities like cold laser, it’s not just a matter of point, shoot and walk away. With a deficit of movement, especially in the central areas of movement like the joints, we have to think about the loss of circulatory power associated with it.
Loss of movement, whether caused by damaged structures or guards, also impairs the recovery process. With laser, technology and chiropractic can combine to dial in frequencies that not only focus on pain management, but also on blood flow, muscle rehabilitation, or joint repair. As soon as we try to simulate the normal healing process and resuscitate normal function, we are faced with each of these needs. Complex pain that may be incessant for a period of time (suggesting its chronicity) is complex for a reason: it involves all structures.
Connect structures together
Now is a good time to revisit the functions that connect our structures while keeping in mind where it all begins and ends. Our beacon – the spine, its related areas, and all the movements needed to navigate around gravity – is powered by the brain.
When we study the network of proprioceptors in the body and where they are concentrated, we are directed to specific areas of the spine (more on the feet/hands below). Technical masters like Major B. DeJarnette, DC, DO (see 1984 SOT Handbook), have relied on this model to recognize the combined value of proper spinal stability and movement as part of the respiratory mechanism primary. Proper alignment and posture play a role in effective breathing, and we can learn to maintain breath control through a dynamic movement progression.
Whether standing or walking, you cannot forget the base of the body, the feet. The second we stand up, the brain scrambles to keep track of every step (controlled fall) by constantly monitoring the position, movement and forces of the feet through a dense population of proprioceptors.
The spine, feet, and hands have more mechanoreceptors than most other parts of the body, giving these areas great importance. So there is a science behind our survival processes that we can focus on to guide the use of technology to support our most important functions.
With the cold laser modality, we must be aware of the body’s tolerances. It cannot be used for long periods of time at high power, but at low power and low frequency we can influence the circulation and use it for longer periods. As far as foot correction and the use of functional orthoses are concerned, we do not have these constraints. On the contrary, the body is a sponge for movement when the feet are well supported and set up for correct movement.
The normal foot, supported by three functional arches, depends on structural integrity. When supported by a custom tri-arch brace made with the right materials and design, you can pursue this campaign without limitation.
Technology and chiropractic: mastering efficiency
Fit isn’t just for movement; it is also for communication. The laser is not just for pain; it is also for blood circulation. Care should be taken to optimize all related structures and functions where possible.
Now, with a custom tri-arch orthosis, we can approach the complexity of the foot from multiple angles. Spine-based care requires that we start with stability and alignment before moving on to increasingly complex movements to reach a patient’s full potential. When we find a good starting point and let all our decisions flow from it, we can find great effectiveness in our efforts. This type of approach helps resolve conflicts when deciding how to take advantage of the chiropractic adjustments and corrective movements that we only offer.
For athletic competitions, there are laser protocols for before, during, and after competition, but the technology and chiropractic combination of custom orthotic support can be consistent. Whether it’s balance or breathing, these functions remind us that gravity works tirelessly and that patients must answer this call between visits. This makes pronation correction with functional tri-arch braces the most valuable part of home care for my practice. Without limitation, we can combine specific fits with custom arch supports to increase standing, walking, and exercise tolerance. When heat is generated through movement, we have ways to manage that energy creation, and the latest flexible orthopedic materials have ways to retain that energy while wicking away moisture.
When we find the right starting point for wholesome activities and let all our decisions flow from it, we can achieve great effectiveness in our endeavors. In Part III of the next issue’s movement, we will return once more and see if we can challenge the chiropractic approach and this homeostatic model to support all human performance physically and cognitively.
ANIS BAJAJDC, graduated from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2000. He owns Bajaj Chiropractic in New York and sits on the board of directors of the New York Chiropractic Council and is the chair of their research and neuroscience committee. As a member of the Foot Levelers Speakers Bureau, he travels widely, sharing his chiropractic knowledge and expertise with audiences across the country. He can be reached at email@example.com.