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
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
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
Center across from the Rand Hospital, Freeport. He can be reached at 242-351-5424 or 727-2454.
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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