Body by Blower - Dr. Brian Blower DC
Down but not out
By Brian G. Blower, DC
Nov 24, 2011 - 2:13:04 AM

A young woman arrived outside our clinic the other day and couldn't get out of the car for she was having acute lower back muscle spasms and pain.  That in itself isn't too uncommon here on Grand Bahama Island for like anywhere back muscle spasms and lower back pain are ubiquitous in nature.  But what made this case of immediate interest was that she was crying out and shrieking loudly as her husband tried in vain to help her.  We don't get that much vocal screeching with our patients and their pain so I was paternally alerted.

Somehow her husband got her to stand and by holding on to his back she was half carried down the short hall to my treatment room.  No case history, get that as we go along, this girl had to be helped and right now was the time.  I encouraged her to stand leaning forward on a footplate and face a hi-lo table which is designed to take a standing patient down to a prone or supine position; thereby taking the weight bearing load off the mechanical frame in a smooth and gentle manner.  Or so it is supposed to be smooth and gentle but from her outcry our table hugging patient was not so impressed with the hi-tech equipment that I was happy to have in my employ. 

Perhaps it was a good thing that she was unable to move without great pain so she didn't writhe about too much and I was able to slowly straighten out her position putting a set of wedges under her pelvis bones to decrease some of the warping from the faulty mechanics of her lower spine.

From the moment I first met this patient out by her car I was cooing and soothing her with encouraging words and confidence.  Her first experience with acute back pain wasn't mine.  And she would be getting better and usually in short order but there was no short venue with this back now, she was in for a slow cautious exam and along with that she needed hope for some kind of treatment that would allay her pain as well as her fears and hysteria.   

Brother, it was going to be long morning, then I though “But this  is harder on her than me,” so let's get down to business.  I kept asking them questions and got more and more information from her and her husband and the history came out with a plethora of incidents leading up to this crisis.  She had been twice hit by a car and once in a motor vehicle accident (traumatic history).  She was early in her thirties yet had a history of high blood pressure.  She had a history of lower back pain but never so acute as this and what gave me the hint for diagnosis is that she had a further history of knee pain bilaterally and was quite concerned with that problem, mentioning the need for surgery. 

Sure knee pain is common and it doesn't always point to a diagnosis in itself but coupled with her history and my exam findings at that point I suspected a lower back condition, not a lower back problem.  Lower backs usually weaken on one side first then the stronger muscles remaining twist our spines and under a work load let the weakened spinal segment slip and we subluxate or misalign the part into distress.  Now we have created a lower back problem.  It is prudent and best to stop this progression by strengthening the muscles to equality first by de-stressing the spine and its nerves allowing them to reach the parts.

I took the wedges out from under her pelvis and as she was a little bit calmer and more coherent I let her know that we were going to take her up to her standing position then turn her over, putting her back down supine.  Immediately she felt the pain when upright.  Steady.  I held her strongly as she was lowered back down.  Some fuss but a little better along with a firm grip and gentle encouragement.  Now we were ready for the fun part.  Where to begin?  I needed more information and the information I was looking for was how and where was the primary strangling point of distress that was locking this patients lower back up.

My patient was in physical distress.  Stress, meaning “to be drawn up tight” and that is exactly what had happened to her prior to her straining her spine. Stress isn't confined to one part of us.  When we have stress it is present to some degree throughout our bodies as our whole system struggles in a state of failure.  Stress is an outcome of our inability to adapt to the stressors around us.  Further, stressors come at us in many forms but particularly mental, chemical and physical, or we may see stress as having three “t's” of origin, Trauma, Thoughts and Toxins.  And once the ball of failing-to-adapt to stressors is in motion our losing battle with stress will snowball and then avalanche as it overwhelms our abilities to roll with the punches, to bend and weave to meet it.  We park stress when we are unable to adapt in our three open or hollow, our “twist-up-able” systems.  

Our patient has high blood pressure, indicating the system of the heart and its many vessels throughout her body are in as state of stress, they are functioning on a long term drawn up tight status. 

She further exhibited physical stress; her spine and rib cage were equally being drawn up tight and had recently buckled into distress by those twisting forces.  That led to the binding and strangling subluxation of the bony segment of her spine which was causing a lot of the lower back pain.  The nerves involved with the spine go to every tissue cell within us and they all travel tortuously through and around their given routes. 

Thirdly I suspected and then confirmed by history and further investigation that her intestinal tract has been under chronic stress too.  Examination revealed an appendectomy scar and at the age of thirteen she had had the surgery to repair the area.  She still exhibited acute pain upon palpation of the lower right abdominal area and I considered spasm and stress of her intestines and organs, in particular the gallbladder along with her ileo-ceacal valve, the junction of the small and large intestine.  Knee and shoulder pain are often associated with gall bladder problems.

To help understand the effect of stress upon us think like this with me; we cannot divorce our parts from the whole.  If one of the three open systems (heart, intestines or spine) has succumbed to stress the other two must also be burdened and are then somewhere in the throes of failing to adapt too.  It is only a matter of time until there is failure of some part and we usually pay a visit to the medical doctor or the liquor store for easement. 

Holidays and rest may help us reduce stress by less confrontation with stressors and then less need for adaptation.  We may further help with moderate exercise and good diet.  Older people find less need to adapt by becoming more reclusive.  But the best form of stress reduction ever are chiropractic spinal adjustments for they take our stressed up strangled frame and manually lever the parts so that they unwind thereby losing their stress.

Chiropractic spinal and extremity adjustments are done by hand with high velocity but low impact and when administered in a proven accurate manner they rock the foundation of acquired body stress.  First the adjustments unwind us physically then the effect continues to improve the nervous systems capacity to do its work.  Our body with the nerves on board nurturing it better can then further positively affect us by unwinding the heart and it vessels and the intestines and their organs which allow us to experience pressure and chemical changes that help mental well being too. (Trauma, Thoughts and Toxins)

I adjusted our patient's neck, then mid back to decrease the subluxations of the spine and therefore the pressures on the spinal cord on its way to the lower back. And finally we got ourselves into position to de-stress the lowest part of the spine too. It wasn't easy but she is a strong trooper and wanted to get herself out of the pain and the long term problems she has been having.  She then revealed she had been having neck pain for some weeks and chronic headaches to boot and to top it all off even her periods were unreliable. 

I then cautiously but specifically adjusted her lower spinal vertebrae, the one in distress.  Next I released some of her gut spasms manually and instructed her on home therapies.  I supported this with digital acupuncture and “chiracupractic” adjustments to the extremities (a technique that adjusts the fingers and feet joints to balance autonomic, acupuncture system nerves) and then up went the table.  Our patient was still expecting the worst but when upright she was able to walk by herself and glowing.  I instructed her on some acute procedures to follow up with immediately and when seen next I expect her to choose to comply and then embark on her rather long road back to health.  What that means is that she will enroll in building up her open systems integrities (heart, intestines and spine) so that she will better adapt to the ongoing lifetime of stressors that all of us inevitably continue to encounter.

I referred this patient to a medical doctor for investigation of her difficulty with her gut and she has reported she has gallstones and we know they take years to establish.  After her next few chiropractic adjustments she was greatly improved and thinking well of herself and her future.  But I have to caution her again that she is the victim of untreated long term failure to adapt, stress.  And to help the chronic difficulty of adapting she must be well informed and tenacious in her efforts to subscribe to a more supporting lifestyle and treatment program with her family chiropractor. 

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 across from the Rand Hospital, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-351-5424 or 727-2454.    You can also find Dr. Blower on Facebook HERE

Feel free to contact Dr. Blower with any of your questions or comments at

© Copyright 2011 by -