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Columns : Body by Blower - Dr. Brian Blower DC Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

How often should I go to my chiropractor?
By Dr. Brian G Blower, DC
Jan 26, 2011 - 2:09:19 PM

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As a chiropractor with over thirty five years of licensed practice I have been asked this question many times.   For some of us spinal and extremity manipulation seems foreign and unusual.   Let me enlighten those of us that have this “generation’s old way of thinking” clouding our mind.


Our gifted body has over three hundred joints.   They may be of various descriptions but all of them are present for a purpose and all of them have function.   Function means to do work.   Remember that for us to be “healthy” then all of the parts must be able to do their work.   And to do work all of the parts must have an adequate nerve supply.


Nerves nourish, they nurture and enable tissues to work.   In our bodies muscles, nourished by nerves, do most of the physical work.   Muscles attach to bones and when all the muscles work the bones are able to move through a range of motion and come back to the centre of the joint axis and rest there.


That’s healthy, all of the muscles worked to lever the bones correctly.   The joints slide and glide easily at birth and quickly learn a range of motion that describes to the brain how they are being loaded and their current position.   We don’t have to have our eyes looking at our arm to know where it is. If the joints stay this way then over the years they won’t break down rapidly


Think of it this way.   You fall and strike your “funny bone.”   Not really funny but for this example let’s suppose it will all feel OK in a moment or two.   But at that moment are you able to pick up and swing a hammer with your wounded limb?   Would you feel like standing and polishing a window?   No, of course not and you are now by definition unhealthy, you cannot perform work with your part.   It is unhealthy to have nerves not reaching the parts.


The fall has jarred and caused the joint and it’s surrounding tissues to change, the shock has stunned the periosteum, the nerve enriched covering of the bone.   The ensuing scattering and dispersal of other nerve signals that cannot use the bruised pathway take away the ability of the now un-nurtured part, the muscle, to respond to the brain, it cannot go to work.


After a short period of time the nerve pain decreases and we are then able to move the joints of the hand and elbow again.   It may be a few more days before swinging a hammer is accomplished.   Meanwhile you did have a fall and the twelve to fifteen pound head at the top of the spine had to be held at the moment of impact by the muscles and bones of the neck and upper chest wall.   We don’t necessarily “feel” these stressors at the time.


The next day or one or two weeks down the road we begin to get neck pain and headaches.    Or perhaps we get that old whiplash activated again or maybe that old football injury flares up.   Later we usually get lower back pain from neck injuries.   (I’ll explain that in another column) So we take drugs to stupefy us and let the injuries compound over time.  


Then one day when the pain and loss of work ability of the parts of the shoulder and neck get so bad we go the “doctor” and the x-rays show the parts have degenerated and worn themselves out.   Or the tests may all show that “nothing is wrong.   More drugs are given and “ Next patient please!  


It’s too late for us, our parts have not been held in place and our joints were not going through a proper range of smooth motion and they wore out.   Or if they haven’t worn out without the proper care they soon will be.   Good-bye to you.  


I hope your grandchildren will get a better idea about maintaining their “health.”   I hope they get checked and evaluated by the chiropractor and get the adjustments necessary to restore the joint range of motion, keeping all of the parts free from nerve encroachment and then stay healthy to very ripe old ages.


Come on here, think about it, if yoga and exercise are health producing activities how do you think they assist your capacity to do work, how do they make you healthy?  


Yoga and exercise increase the range of motion of the joints.   They take out the kinks to a great degree by drawing bones through an increased range of motion and we feel and function better because of it.   But I know most of you, I have been in practice for a lot of years.   Most of us are lazy and will not exercise or be faithful to a disciplined program.


The truth is that if you had a fall or other injury in the past it will come back to haunt you if it isn’t corrected, the sooner the better.   The soft tissues that bruised like the “funny bone” will stop paining quickly but the hundreds of joints in the upper back and neck that met with sudden strain will have residual spasms and splinting, subluxations.  


During a short time period reduced range of motion of joints will allow shrinking of tendons and ligaments that upset the equal movement of the opposing sides of the spinal column.   You will not usually feel this until you go to use your neck and back and the parts fail to work and you hurt.  


Then we may go to the chiropractor for an exam and treatment.   Most of us have heard that chiropractic care is “natural and drugless” and we want to feel better this way.   And when I ask what is troubling us we will say something like “Oh I slept wrong” or “my neck got sore from using the computer.”   If that was true then everyone that uses a computer for an extended length of time would get a sore neck.   But they don’t!


It’s you and your neck and your upper back and your history that describes your joints out of line and your nerves that then don’t reach the parts.   When you sat at the computer and asked the parts to continually work they couldn’t and the muscles let the boney joints twist and subluxate and we hurt.


The nerves failed to nourish, they couldn’t get through and around the misaligned joints, the “subluxations.”


So how often should we go to our chiropractor?   We must go and get all of the joints moving through your unique body’s potential range of motion.   Depending on your history and present condition your chiropractor will inform you and give you a comprehensible plan to get there.


If you are ninety think lots of visits.   If you have had many car accidents or other severe injuries your stress load is unique and expect many visits.   If you are middle age and haven’t had much trauma then less visits are necessary.   If you are young and are seeing and feeling postural changes like flat feet and spinal distortions expect to be a chiropractic patient for life.


Just like we all constantly care for our teeth and use improved oral hygiene your spine and nerves need support and maintenance on an ongoing basis too.  


And just like your teeth our brain doesn’t feel the need to go to the dentist until we rupture through the enamel and get an abscess.   Waiting and ignoring oral health is just plain dumb and so is it plain dumb to let our body stress over and degenerate.


Let’s change our attitude and stop turning a blind eye to our body now that we   have had some light shed upon the chiropractor and how his adjustments, over time, continually help keep the parts working and spinal decay at bay.


We recommend the once a month chiropractic habit to keep, once you regain, your health potential.


About the author: Dr. Brian Blower has been a licensed chiropractor for 35 years practicing Applied Kinesiology and has been in private practice on Grand Bahama Island for the past 10 years. He is a founding member of Applied Kinesiology Canada and was educated at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He has treated many celebrities and also specializes in sports medicine.  Dr Blower is currently in practice at the Family Wellness Center on Coral Road, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-374-5424.  You can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE

Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at BodyByBlower@yahoo.com

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