By Sandra Jordan
Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American
Some of the same activities and behaviors that can cause disease can cause health problems in your bones, joints and your neuromuscular system.
“For every one pound of weight that you gain, you put three pounds of pressure on your knees; so the opposite of that is, for every pound that you lose, you take three pounds of pressure off your knees.”
Spine expert Chiropractor Michael Gerdine of West End Chiropractic said when it comes to wellness, the approach should be proactive rather than reactive.
“There are many stresses in life that contribute to illness, whether it be stresses from work, family, job, poor diets, lack of exercise, not getting enough rest” Gerdine said. “All of those things lead to problems with the nervous system, due to what we call in chiropractic care ‘subluxations.’”
Subluxations occur when the body’s infrastructure gets out of alignment.
“Its bones out of place irritating the nerves,” Gerdine said. “Subluxations are caused by – I call them the three T’s: Trauma – which could be an accident, sports injury, repetitive motion on the job, weekend warrior stuff; Thoughts –
Which would be stress-related; and Toxins – bad food, poor diet; medications can be toxic to the human body; bad air, recreational drugs, cigarette smoke, all of those things are toxic.”
The Missouri Chiropractors Association describes subluxations as a response to stress, causing the muscles to spasm, spinal bones to lock up and choking or chaffing nerves. Nerve impulses communicate messages to the brain and throughout the body through your spine. If there’s a hitch somewhere in the nervous system, it will manifest as some type of health problem.
“Most of us have subluxations and don’t even know we have them,” Gerdine said.
He said that occasional “crook in the neck” or stiff back when you wake up in the morning – subluxations.
“It could be because you slept wrong or it could be because you hold the telephone at work with your shoulder cocked up on the phone … and one of the contributing factors to subluxations, a big one – is posture,” he said. “Most human beings have bad posture and people who are sedentary have even worse posture.”
Think of this balancing act; poorly postured humans with bowling balls sitting on top of the smallest area of the spinal column.
“Most people don’t realize that our heads weigh about the same as a bowling ball – between 10 and 15 pounds,” Gerdine explained. “The cervical spine – the neck, those are the smallest bones in the vertebral column and now you have this head that is leaning forward and that’s putting a lot of pressure on those bones and it can cause problems over time.”
Gerdine said the boom in tech gadgetry that has people looking down at their cellphones, tablets and other personal devices will wind up being a major pain in the neck.
“You can rest assured that there is going to be an epidemic of neck problems with headaches, tension in the shoulders, pain between the should blades, pain radiating into the arms,” Gerdine said, “and a lot of it is going to be due to this repetitive motion that we have developed to exist in the world today.”
Although not so high tech, a low-hanging fashion statement of the millennials, hip-hoppers and the “OGs” who try to dress like them may come back to bite when where the sun didn’t use to shine.
“These young men who are walking around with their pants sagging – you can rest assured there’s going to be an epidemic of hip replacements because the way they have to alter their gait and swing those legs to keep those pants up – they are wearing the hip joints out,” Gerdine said.
Sagging pants get blamed for a number of health issues, from urological and sexual dysfunction to severe posture and bone growth deformities.
Gerdine said seeing a chiropractor is the conservative approach to wellness.
“We are going to look at the bony structures, the musculoskeletal system to try to prevent people from going to surgery and using all the different drugs with the major side effects they may have,” Gerdine said. “We are interested in people doing functional health. My goal is to get people doing the things they are supposed to do, that they want to do, the right way.”
The American Chiropractic Association says chiropractic services are included in most health insurance plans and is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans medical facilities.
For more information about the work of chiropractors, visit http://www.missourichiropractors.org.