Ollis Chiropractic - Louisville


Since 2008, October 16th has been designated as World Spine Day.  This year’s theme is “Every Spine Counts.”  The purpose of World Spine Day is to raise awareness about spinal pain and conditions and how to effectively manage and prevent spinal pain and conditions.  Here is a list of relevant “Back Facts” that the World Spine Day website lists:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide.... Neck pain is ranked number four.

  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  One study showed that back pain was responsible for 12.5% of all sickness absences from any cause.

  • Studies have shown that low back pain can affect up to 25% of adults reporting low back pain in the last 3 months.

  • Experts estimate that as many as 4 out of 5 adults will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.

  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

  • In 2016, Americans  spent an estimated $134.5bn on low back pain and neck pain—more than that spent on diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, and falls.

It’s about dysfunction, not pain!

These facts show that spine pain is a significant problem that needs to be addressed.  But more important than spinal pain is spinal function, or in the case of experiencing symptoms, spinal dysfunction.  When you are experiencing pain and/or stiffness in your spine, it is because the spine is biomechanically dysfunctional, which will produce other dysfunctions in the surrounding tissues of the spine, such as the muscles, discs, ligaments, tendons, and nervous system.  So then, if the dysfunction is leading to the symptoms, then the focus isn’t the symptoms, but the dysfunction (though, reducing symptoms sure is great!).  Sometimes, someone is experiencing low back pain because of a non-spinal issue (ex. Referred pain to the low back from a kidney stone), but for the most part, spinal pain is going to be due to dysfunctions within the neuro-musculo-skeletal system.  

Your spine becomes dysfunctional because it develops what chiropractors refer to as Vertebral Subluxation Complexes (VSC).  A VSC begins with a subluxation, which is a joint with a lack of motion that may or may not be accompanied by pain.  As a subluxation gets worse, it begins to cause damage to surrounding tissues, namely muscles, discs, tendons, ligaments, and nervous tissue, developing into a VSC.  As VSC’s go uncorrected, their dysfunction increases, and more VSC’s are produced.  As more VSC’s are produced, your spine becomes more and more dysfunctional until the problem is addressed.  By this time, some pain and/or stiffness is likely to be experienced.  Persistent care over an appropriate period of time is required to remodel your spine and its associated tissues.  We will discuss how to properly address VSC’s after we discuss how you develop VSC’s.

How do Vertebral Subluxation Complexes develop?

Our spines take on damage in many ways.  Events that cause damage to our spines can fall under two categories:  Large injuries and small injuries.  Large injuries are events like car accidents, slips and falls, whiplash, sports injuries, etc.  Small injuries are due to things like poor posture, repetitive motions, toxins from our food, air, and water, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, etc.  These cumulative insults to our spine over weeks, months, and years, even decades, are what produces VSC’s.  

How do you fix spinal dysfunction?

Spinal dysfunction is reduced in two main ways:  Chiropractic adjustments and correcting the posture through spinal rehabilitation.  

A chiropractor’s job is to find bones that don’t move well and to adjust them so that they move well.  This improves the motion and function of the joints and, therefore, the motion and function of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system by eliminating or reducing VSC’s.  This is a very important aspect of improving spinal and extremity function.

Our posture also greatly informs how well our neuro-musculo-skeletal system functions.  Forward head posture, a humped upper back, forward shoulders, a low shoulder or low hip, too much or too little curve in your neck or low back, or even scoliosis, are all postural abnormalities that are going to affect the way your body moves and functions.  Many of the neuro-musculo-skeletal problems that people experience are not only because they need to be adjusted on a consistent basis, but because they need to have their spinal and overall body posture rehabilitated.

At Ollis Chiropractic, we combine chiropractic adjustments with postural corrective spinal rehabilitation in order to ensure that we not only get you feeling well, but that we get you functioning well.  To bring this blog full circle:  This is not only how you manage spinal pain and many spinal conditions, but this is how they are also prevented!  If you want to feel your best, perform your best, and/or prevent experiencing spinal pain and conditions, we recommend that you be properly evaluated and treated by a Doctor of Chiropractic.  Truly, every spine counts!  If you have any questions, give us a call at 502-412-8580 or email us at [email protected].

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