Structural Correction – A Different Approach to Bodies
How is what I do different?
The structural correction technique I use is based on the premise that the primary problems patients have that need to be treated are bones that are stuck forward, which means that they need to be moved backwards to be corrected. This is, in effect, the opposite of traditional chiropractic technique where a majority of the adjustments are done with the patient lying face down on a table and the practitioner pushes forward on the spine. Most of our adjustments at Stay Mobile are done standing up against the wall and pushing parts of your body backwards. If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor before, you know this is a much different approach to care.
To begin to understand what I do, consider the following simple premise: each vertebra has muscles and ligaments attached to it that can pull it in a variety of directions: forward and sideways, and in twisting directions. However the vertebra has no muscles or other attachments to help pull it in a backwards motion. Since the body is a self-correcting organism, if a vertebra were to move out of place backwards or sideways it has an innate mechanism to pull it back into proper alignment with reasonable effort using the muscles that are attached on the front and sides. But imagine if a vertebra were to be stuck forward: the body actually has no mechanism to correct it and pull it backwards into the optimal position. This is where the Stay Mobile approach helps your body! It is an approach that assists your body by moving
those vertebra BACK into alignment that your body cannot correct on it’s own because it has no mechanism to do so.
Common Indicators A Vertebra Is Stuck Forward
- Feeling “hunched over” – compressing the chest area (heart, lungs, esophagus)
- Head that rests in front of your body – leading to neck pain or stiffness and/or headaches
- Forward Rounded shoulders – leading to tight upper traps or upper back discomfort
- Abdomen protruding forward – leading to low back pain
- Hyperlordotic lumbar spine – the low back has a larger than normal curve
- Increased tension in other areas of the body – which may contribute to experiencing: Headaches > Foot, leg or knee pain > Elbow, shoulder or hand pain > Trigger points (knots in your muscles) and fascial restrictions
Having these forward vertebra corrected relaxes tension and promotes ease in the body which can have a tremendous impact. Easier breathing, less tension, less pain, and your body is able to stand up almost effortlessly which allows you to use that freed up energy for more rewarding activities! Give us a call today if you’d like to discuss with the doctor whether structural correction is right for you!
At the time she started treating me I was a few months from the end of my 4th season and my body hurt every single day; I wasn’t sure I would physically be able to complete the season. My neck throbbed, my hips ached, I was walking hunched over, I wasn’t sleeping, and had near daily headaches. I was absolutely crushed at the thought of not being able to continue to play and was scared I’d be relegated to a life of pain. Dr Decker’s chiropractic style was so different from any other chiropractic care I’d received. It was gentle – no giant pops, and cracks; I was skeptical it would help. But the relief was almost instant! My headaches were gone, I started sleeping better, I was upright and felt stronger than ever. I not only finished the season strong – my team won the championships!!
I wholeheartedly endorse this form of chiropractic care for both the everyday achy body and the athletically induced achy body – it is totally worth the time and the money to ensure a strong, pain-free life.
Neck pain can show up as stiffness in the muscles, pulling when bending the neck side to side or rotating the head. It can be pinching in the back of the neck or down into the upper back, especially where the ribs are set between the vertebra. It can be aching that goes into the jaw or up into the head causing a headache.
The most common places for spine pain are at the ends of the spine: the neck and the low back. Pain in the neck can actually be caused by structural dysfunction in the low back and vice versa. Exercising or massaging the place where your symptom is can give temporary relief, but lasting change comes from finding and fixing the root cause. This is why I treat the spine and skeletal system as one synchronous (meaning when I make a change in one locations the body automatically immediately adapts by making changes throughout the structure) unit.
KNEE / ANKLE PAIN
Have you ever heard that knee and ankle pain can come from problems in the spine? There are several ways this can happen. Bones shifted in the pelvis and low back can pull on muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves causing pain to be felt in the joints of the leg. On a big picture level, our bodies are falling forward from hours spend bent forward over our work, computers and phones and old injuries from sports or rough and tumble play.
In the pictures, the knees, hips, shoulders and head should be lined up above the ankle. Consider the empire state building on the right. The architect designed the structures of the building to precisely support the forces of the building above it. All the forces of the weight of the building are borne by everything below it in a calculated and planned way.
Now consider the Tower of Pisa pictured on the left. This building, too, was designed to stand upright with the forces from the pressure of structures above being dispersed and supported by the materials in the base of the building. Because the building leans, those forces are now wearing on the materials below in a way that is different than designed. This results in altered wear and tear on the structure.
When we are moving through our day with our structure falling forward, that causes altered stresses on the joints below and can affect the hips, knees and ankles. This is not the ONLY cause of pain in these joints, but it can cause long term problems in these joints. Especially if you find yourself more prone to injury that occurs from very minor incidents.
HIP & SCIATICA PAIN
The sciatic nerve is a large bundle of nerve fibers that travels through the pelvis and down into the leg. Hip pain can be in the joint where the leg is joined to the hip or in the low back where there is a joint between the hip bones and the triangular bone at the base of the spine, the sacrum.
All the structures in this area are connected with ligaments, tendons and muscles and when there is dysfunction in how the system of bones are moving in this area, it can cause pain in any one of these areas or even down the leg into the knees and ankles.
This type of pain typically responds well to making precise corrections to the placement and motion between the bones in the spine, pelvis and legs.
Most often, when there is back pain there are tight, knotted muscles involved. Some people believe the muscles are “too short” while other muscles are “too long” or attribute some other dysfunction to the muscles. The brain is causing these muscles to be tight with purpose. My approach is that those muscles are doing important work in your body: pulling backward on structures that are stuck forward or creating compensations for parts of the structure that are stuck forward.
Humans have a righting reflex that causes the muscles to try keep your body and head upright so your eyes are level with the horizon. Massaging and stretching these muscles are only a temporary fix and they defeat the work your brain is trying to do to keep you upright. When I correct the vertebrae, I move them in a backward direction so that your weight is more on your heels and your body stays upright with ease, without your muscles having to over-work to keep you standing up straight. The result is less muscle tension and pain and a posture that remains upright while you are relaxed.
“Sit up straight,” seems to be the first thing people think of when I bring up the topic of posture. My concept of posture is completely different. Posture is not you using your muscles to hold your posture up (“sit up straight”). Posture is how your body holds you! What I mean by that is that when you relax, your posture should hold you up straight without effort on your part. If it’s not, you have vertebra that are not optimally aligned to hold you upright.
It’s not because of weak muscles that most posture slumps.It’s because bones are “stuck” forward that posture slumps forward and you feel you have to force your body upright by thinking about it. You can think about it if you want, but as soon as your mind wanders (we all have LOTS more important things to think about), the body slumps again.
In addition to fixing your structure, bringing it more upright, I’ll teach you how to set up your chair, your pillow and choose shoes that support your body.