Dr. Borisenko
Dr. Borisenko

Headache and Backache

From the side, your spine looks like a “wiggly worm.” It is comprised of six functional curves that determine the health and function of the spinal column and Central Nervous System.

When one or more of the curves is lost, a health threatening condition called Forward Head Posture (FHP) occurs. FHP is caused by an injury or a prolonged exposure to hazardous conditions, like sitting at a computer, working at a production line for prolonged hours, etc.

We see Forward Head Posture all around us, but we usually refer to it as "slouching." In reality, FHP causes many dangerous complications.

Joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons don’t have any blood vessels in a human body. Their health depends on a proper motion or loading and unloading cycles. Injuries, occupational diseases, poor diet, lifestyle, etc., cause abnormal posture, which in its turn, causes abnormally low motion in these structures. As a result, the pathologically decreased motion slows down nutrients and water interchange in the structures from twice per day to once every 500 days, and eventually leads to degeneration of joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons.

FHP is also responsible for constant headaches, shoulder pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, pain in the extremities, and joint pain.

For example, when muscles are supporting your body weight all day long, they perform work. Work in physics is defined as, Work (W) = Distance (D) multiplied by Force (F), or W=D x F.

Imagine this: you know that carrying 50 lbs over a distance of 100 yards is harder than carrying it over ten yards. This is because 100 yards is a longer distance than ten yards, and even though force or load (50lf) remains the same, longer distance causes you to perform more work.

FHP creates a similar problem; the head moves forward from the body's center of gravity. Thus, a distance from center of gravity increases (strait neck), and muscles that hold the head up are forced to do more work to hold it up right. The more work muscles do, the faster they get tired and cause pain. This is why your pain always returns.

FHP also overloads spinal joints. This overload causes joint and disc degeneration. The longer you have FHP, the greater degenerative joint and disc disease you will have. Therefore, it is in your best interest to resolve this condition rather sooner than later.

There is only one way to resolve this problem. The neck curve must be restored so that head could return as close to the center of gravity as possible. Muscles will then relax, while pain will recede.

The "Pettibon System" is the best tool for the job.
Interestingly enough, incorrect body weight distribution caused by FHP will also cause lower back pain, shoulders pain, hips pain, knees pain, etc.
To learn more about what researchers are finding out about hazardous effects of poor posture on your health, please read our section titled "what experts are finding."

Researchers' Findings About Poor Posture

images of bad posture

a. Posture is an external manifestation of the internal spine, and even modest improvement in posture brings a great degree of comfort to patients (Lennon, B.M., et al., 1994).

b. Further, Lennon, et al. at the Shealy Institute, has made additional observations of the influence posture has on function and symptomatology. They have concluded that distorted posture effects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.

c. The most significant influences of posture are respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic function. It appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture (Lennon, J., Sealy, C.N., Cady, R.K., Matta, W.A., Cox, R., and Simpson, W.F., 1994).

d. Freeman found in 1997 that shifts in the body’s center of gravity causes postural deviations leading to intestinal diverticula, hemorrhoids, leg varicosities, osteoporosis, hip and foot deformities, overall poor health and quality of life, and a shortened life span (Freeman, J.T., Posture in the Aging and Aged Body, JAMA, 165:7, 1957, pp 843-846).

e. In 1974 Reich states that poor posture leads to decreased blood and tissue oxygenation, which is a major factor in all diseases, including cancer (Reich, W., The Discovery of the Orgone, New York: The Noonday Press).

f. White and Panjabi study finds in 1971 that lateral lordosis and kyphosis must be present for A-P spinal alignment and normal spinal function (Journal of Biomechanics, Three Dimensional Analysis of the Spine, 4:203-211, 1971).

g. Rene Cailliet, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California, reached the following conclusions:

  • Lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar spine are necessary for normal spinal function.
  • With forward-extended head posture, normal lordosis is absent from the cervical and lumbar spine, which leads to loss of spinal function.
  • Forward head posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine creating stress points and pulling the entire spine out of alignment.
  • Forward head posture results in loss of vital lung capacity for up to 30 percent and will cause shortness of breath and can lead to vascular disease.
  • The entire gastrointestinal system is affected by poor posture and loss of lordosis.
  • Motions of the first four cervical vertebrae are blocked with loss of cervical lordosis. A normal movement of these vertebrae is a necessary stimulus for endorphin production by the brain and spinal cord. With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non-painful sensations are perceived as pain. Cailliet concludes that the better the posture, the better one’s health (Cailliet, R., M.D. and Gross, L., Rejuvenation Strategy, New York: Doubleday Co., 1987).

Thus:

  • Faulty posture is produced when the global spine has lost the optimal position relative to gravity (accident’s injuries).
  • Posture affects all human functions from breathing to thinking.
  • Faulty posture and loss of lordosis decrease vital lung capacity and eventually lead to various pathologies.
  • Correct spinal posture promotes health and resolves symptoms. In other words, stable spine does not hurt.

The Hump on the Back of Your Neck

I have a hump on the bottom of my neck, my doctor calls it Dowager's hump. He says that it is untreatable. Is it true?

This is how Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines Dowager's hump: An abnormal outward curvature of the vertebrae of upper back. Compression of the front (anterior) portion of the involved vertebrae leads to forward bending of the spine (kyphosis) and creates a hump at the upper back.

The Dowager's hump is the osteoporotic and biomechanical change of the spine called Forward Head Syndrome. Due to neck injuries, cervical (neck) lordosis (curve) is lost. As a result, the head shifts forward causing additional stress to the cervico-thoracic junction (were neck and mid back meat). This causes multiple unwanted cosmetic, biomechanical, neurological, and physiological changes in our body. One of these changes is fanning out of spinous processes in this region, bones stick out through the skin and we perceive it as a hump. The cervical curve restoration returns bones to its normal position and hump disappears.

At our office, we specialize in spinal curves restoration through chiropractic manipulations and core muscles training. Furthermore, I would like to add a few words to the Webster’s dictionary definition. It states, “Like most osteoporotic changes, it is often preventable.” I must say that with proper exercises, it is 100% preventable and restorable.

Normal and Abnormal Neck

image of neck, before and after

Normal neck must have a shape of the arch, which measures 45 degrees. A head must be resting directly over midline to achieve equilibrium.

Your neck was created with a built-in shock absorbers called intervertebral discs. It also has a structural reinforcement, which is a curve, or lordosis. This curve-disc system acts like a spring and absorbs the shock of your head, which is resting and/or moving on your neck. This action prevents muscles, discs, and joints from being overloaded.

To make this concept easier to understand, think of the same bowling ball resting on a large spring, or picture a car traveling on a bumpy road. Shock-absorbing force from the bumps on the road, just like your spine, absorbs shocks caused by your everyday activities.

When your neck loses its curve, the joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons supporting your neck become stretched and/or compressed; muscles overload and become painful. Discs, joints, ligaments, and tendons lose its normal motion and become overly toxic, dehydrated, and, therefore, brittle. This leads to early joint, discs, ligament, and tendon degeneration, disc bulges and other lesions, numbness and tingling in extremities, constant muscles pain, muscles atrophy and various organs diseases.

Correcting this problem means resolving your disease. You do not have to live with pain.

For more information, call our Kent office at: (253) 520-7531 or our Everett office at (425) 322-5307 and visit the Pettibon Institute web site at: www.pettibonsystem.com

Disc Bulge and Disc Herniations

Joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons don’t have any blood vessels in a human body. Their health depends on a proper motion or loading and unloading cycles. Injuries, occupational diseases, poor diet, lifestyle, etc., cause abnormal posture, which in its turn, causes abnormally low motion in these structures.

As a result, the pathologically decreased motion slows down nutrients and water interchange in the structures from twice per day to once every 500 days, and eventually leads to degeneration of joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons.

The dehydration of the structures causes discs to crack and bulge or herniate. Disc bulges and other lesions irritate nerves that exit the spine, and the irritation of these nerves cause pain, tingling, numbness in the extremities, muscle and organ atrophy.
Disc bulges and other lesions are a restorable ailment. It can be accomplished through proper nutrition, exercises, and joint manipulation. They are done to increase the motion of discs and joints, so that nutrients may become available for healing and physiological processes.

Our office specializes in discs, joints, ligaments, tendons, and neuromuscular rehabilitation and spinal restoration and rejuvenation.

Hips and Knees degeneration and how to avoid surgery

From the side, your spine looks like a “wiggly worm”, and is comprised of six functional curves. They determine the health and function of your spinal column and Central Nervous System.
Our body keeps itself in perfect upright position, as close to center of gravity as possible. It aligns itself with gravity.

When one or more of these curves is lost, a damaging health condition called Forward Head Posture (FHP) results. FHP is caused by injury or prolonged exposure to hazardous conditions, like sitting at a computer, working at production line for prolonged hours, etc.

This spinal misalignment causes pathological compensatory changes along entire spine. We would say that a person starts slouching, one’s hips or shoulders become uneven, head tilts abnormally to the side, etc. Simply put, the person starts carrying more of their body weight on either left or right side.

With time, the incorrect weight distribution causes joints’ overuse and restricts their motion. Joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons don’t have any blood vessels in a human body.

As a result, the pathologically decreased motion slows down nutrients and water interchange in the structures from twice per day to once every 500 days, and eventually leads to degeneration of joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons.

Hips’ and knees’ joints become dehydrated and joint’s cartilage, which lines up inside of a joint, becomes ruff and cracks. This roughness increases joint friction, which with time destroys the joint completely.

Patients can avoid surgery, stop, and even reverse hips and knees decay and degeneration by restoring proper posture with simple spinal exercises at the office and at home.

Our Children

From birth, our children undergo tremendous stress to their spine, to which they must constantly adapt. The birthing process in itself is an extremely traumatic experience for the spine. The first attempts at walking place a great demand on a child’s spinal column. Later in life, children experience constant spinal stress, which they must overcome.

Some deliveries are so traumatic that the child actually fractures their collar bone (clavicle) during the birthing process.

As our children grow and get older, they start school and are placed in activities that cause tremendous stress to their spine. As they become active in sports, such as gymnastics, soccer, football, tennis, or when they begin to play a musical instrument, their growing spines are subjected to enormous amounts of stress and misalignment.

Spinal alignment is very important for growing body.

If Scoliosis develops in the early years of childhood, when the vertebrae are soft and pliable and can change their shape under abnormal forces, these changes become permanent and impossible to correct later in life. Many of the spinal problems that we see in adults can be tracked back to a childhood fall, injury, poor posture resulting from carrying backpacks, spending endless hours at the desk studying, or playing video/computer games.

It is very important for the parent to seriously consider regular chiropractic care for their child during this developmental stage of their lives.
The Pettibon System is specifically developed for correcting postural abnormalities by removing misalignments and strengthening postural muscles so that the child may overcome any postural challenges life places upon them.

Is Disc Degeneration Permanent?

The New Science of Spinal Regeneration says; No, It is not!
Many patients and doctors alike are under the misconception that once a spinal condition exists including disc degeneration, disc herniation and nerve damage, you need surgery or are forced to live with pain for the rest of your life. However, the truth behind today’s spinal treatments bears that while the spine can easily degenerate it can, with intelligent and concerted effort, also regenerate. Therefore, many conditions once believed to be permanent can not only be healed, but reversed.

Spinal regeneration and disc regeneration are attainable goals for many.

At our clinic we use The Pettibon System for spinal treatment and regeneration for over 12 years. This very effective spinal treatment is being developed since 1956 to restore spinal curvatures and bring motion and fluids back into the spinal discs and various joints (spinal joints, knees, hips, etc.). The safety and effectiveness of this carefully designed treatment for individual patient's needs is far superior to any type of surgery. When accompanied with the right nutrients and core muscles exercises shown to you by your corrective care chiropractor, all of the elements necessary for spinal regeneration are there. At any age, with any level of degeneration, the potential for some degree of correction and healing is possible and sooner you act more restoration you may achieve.

Nutritional factors required for successful rehabilitation

Your separate body systems work together synergistically, coordinating millions of tasks and functions every day. What you eat greatly influences your body’s ability to function well.  The foods that you choose affect you on a cellular level and become your blood, muscles organs and even your moods.  As you have probably heard before food is “fuel”. This fuel contains nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, amino acids, carbohydrates and fats. Nutrients do everything from combating infections to repairing tissues and even help you think.  If one has a nutritious diet and consumes enough water they will respond better to rehabilitation exercises.

There are many factors that cause dehydration some include inadequate diets, drinking coffee, sodas, alcohol, taking supplements and prescription medications. We have found most pain expressive people are dehydrated to some extent.  Dehydration alone can cause muscle cramping, fatigue and dizziness. As the body losses water it must take fluids from the red and white tissues before depleting the vital organs.  Dehydration is another precursor to dysfunction and disease.

A large percent of blood is made up of water, blood as we know delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells as well as removing cellular waste.  Muscles are normally 80% water, when these levels are depleted and electrolytes become unbalanced headaches, neural pain, muscle spasms and tetany (severe muscle splinting) are soon to follow.  The nucleus of a healthy spinal discs are normally 88% water.  With just 12% of fluid loss the person can lose up to 2 inches in height and motion in the spine is diminished. The self-stabilizing cushion that was once supplied by the fully hydrated Discs allows forces like gravity to be placed onto the posterior joints, causing pain with loss of function, especially in the cervical and lumbar spine.

The nervous system is made up of 90% water.  Research has found dehydration to have a negative effect on the brain and can contribute to the development of fatigue and depression. Dehydration can disrupt the messages being transmitted to the various parts of the body by nerves, often resulting in the sensation of pain, fatigue, low energy, loss of muscle strength and poor endurance.

Upon receipt of a stimulus the nervous system is supposed to convert blood protein into 3 forms of proteins needed for proper response to that stimulus.  Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues as well as to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a "macronutrient," meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it.

Therefore, to respond to your care as expected, the patient must have consumed adequate amounts of water and protein within three hours before rehabilitation and/or corrective procedures are performed.

Before any rehab session we recommend that the patient drink 2 oz. of a saturated salt solution, this assures the nervous system has adequate electrolytes for optimum function. The Himalayan Crystal Salt® contains 84 trace minerals essential for life, the daily infusion is highly effective to normalize and mineralize the body.  This should be followed with at least 16 oz. of water with a Ph of 7.0-7.5.  Additional water must be consumed throughout the day generally this is half the person body weight in fluid ounces. For example: a 180lb person needs 90oz or 3 quarts of water daily. A protein rich meal or snack within 1-2 hours before each rehab workout is necessary to ensure there is enough protein for the nervous system and the muscles to respond.

This was written by The Pettibon System Research Group. www.pettibonsystem.com

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