What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the science of detecting and correcting interference to the nervous system caused by spinal misalignments. It is a natural health care system based on 3 scientific principles:
- Your body is a self-healing organism under the control of the nervous system.
- Spinal misalignments cause nervous system interference.
- Interference to the nervous system can cause pain or other health problems.
The History of the Grostic/Orthospinology Procedure
The Grostic procedure provides a system of care for the upper cervical spine, developed in the early 1940’s by Dr. John F. Grostic. This system requires a very precise and accurate analysis of this area. The analysis is derived from x-rays achieved with specific placement of the patient on equipment that is carefully aligned. From this analysis, the doctor of chiropractic will deliver a specific adjustment to the atlas, thereby reducing nerve interference to the nervous system.
This work has emerged over the years, with changes occurring as the clinical data dictated the change. In the early 1970’s, Dr. Grostic’s son, John D. Grostic, continued the research and teachings of his father, by developing the theory of the effects of an upper cervical subluxation on the nervous system, and improving the calculation format for the convenience of the doctor. This procedure has further evolved to today’s Orthospinology procedure with continued research and innovative science to make more accurate corrections.
What is Orthospinology?
Orthospinology, a specialty within the Chiropractic field, is a natural health care system that utilizes a precise adjustment for a gentle, painless correction. The correction is mathematically calculated for each patient, according to the misalignment of your spine. This specific adjustment is designed to remove interference from the spinal cord and restore body balance and reactivates the body’s natural heling ability.
What is the importance of body balance?
Dr. Roger Sperry, PhD, was a neurobiologist and Nobel Laureate in Medicine. In 1981, he won the Nobel Prize for brain research. Prior to this award he was highly regarded for his split brain research. He stated: “Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism and healing.”
Why is balance & symmetry important for your brain and health?
“90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.” If your body is mechanically distorted, it begins to affect the other 10% of the brain’s activity, which controls all the other body functions such as breathing, digestion, or thinking.
If the body framework (bone structure and spine) is in an off-balanced or misaligned position, it can impede or block the electrical and chemical transmissions of the nervous system, which controls all of your body’s functions. This interference to the nervous system can cause or contribute to all kinds of symptoms and illness condition.
Published research studies have shown that when body balance is restored, the body enters a healing cycle that alleviates pain and symptoms, elevates the immune system, increases blood and oxygen circulation, normalizes nervous system communication, and creates more optimum body performance.
What is an Orthospinology spinal correction and how does it restore body balance?
The Orthospinology spinal correction is a precisely calculated adjustment (correction) of the bone structure of the head and neck that is barely felt by the patient. The correction is designed to remove interference from around the brain stem. The brain stem is where the brain and spinal cord meet at the top of your neck. This area of the nervous system controls all of your body’s automatic functions, such as breathing, blood circulation, digestion and elimination, sexual activity, and posture. If the bone structure around the brain stem is misaligned and compressing that area, it creates postural distortion (body imbalance) and can negatively affect physical, emotional, and even mental performance.
The Orthospinology spinal correction can balance the bone structure of the head and neck, removing interference and pressure around the brain stem, restoring body balance, relieving pain and symptoms, improving cerebral spinal fluid and blood flow to and from the brain, and reactivating the body’s natural healing ability.
How is body balance determined?
Body imbalance or postural distortion is determined by bilateral body weight difference, leg length disparity, visual inspection, and improper biomechanics.
In a lying down or supine position, the leg lengths may differ as much as one inch. Postural measurement reveals head tilt, low shoulder, pelvic distortion, or improper spinal curvatures. Restricted neck movement or other decreased joint ranges of motion reveals improper body biomechanics.
Body imbalance is often caused by:
- Bending and Lifting
- Birth Trauma
- Athletic or Exercise Injuries
- Poor Sleeping Habits
- Excessive Stress
- Chemical imbalance in the body (sickness or disease)
How is the Orthospinology spinal correction calculated?
Once body imbalance has been determined, precise X-ray analysis, using physics and mathematics, is used to calculate a formula for each spinal correction. Each formula is calculated for that individual patient. No two spinal corrections are exactly alike. Once the formula has been calculated, the Orthospinology spinal correction is utilized to re-align the bone structure of the head and neck, removing brain stem compression, and restoring body balance.
After the spinal correction has been made, a post X-ray analysis is used to determine the success of the correction. The Orthospinology X-ray system is set up to minimize X-ray exposure to the patient, by using state of the art equipment and lead compensating filters. After the initial spinal correction, further X-rays are usually unnecessary.
What does the Orthospinology spinal correction feel like?
The Orthospinology spinal correction is painless and barely felt by the patient. Because of the precise X-ray analysis, a correction can be made without any forceful, jerking or twisting movements.
Most patients will see immediate results on the first correction. Many patients notice instant relief of pain or headaches, a warm feeling in the painful area, or experience a feeling of relaxation and increased range of motion.
What can I expect after my first Orthospinology spinal correction?
After the first correction, most patients can expect a reduction in the intensity or the severity of their condition. Treatment plans are individualized according to the patient’s needs. As a patient progresses often the frequency of care decreases. The doctor will recommend periodic checks during this time to ensure permanent results. For optimum results, it is important that the patient follow ALL of the doctor’s recommendations.
Listed below are some of the reactions and changes that are possible during the stabilization and healing period, as the body is at work restoring health:
- Alleviation of symptoms
- Tired and/or relaxed feeling
- Light-headedness – possible headaches
- Cold-like symptoms, i.e. runny nose, as the body goes through a cleansing process
- Muscle stiffness in other parts of the body as it adapts to the correction
- Pain in the area of an old injury
- Tingling or heat sensation as blood and oxygen circulation continues to normalize
- Body elimination changes – diarrhea or constipation as the body adapts to changes after the correction
Symptoms may decrease immediately or pain may change and move to another area of the body … all are signs that indicate the self-healing process is working.
Is it Safe?
My orthopedic surgeon told me to never see a chiropractor. Is Orthospinology safe for patients who have already had spinal surgery?
Most orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are unfamiliar with the Orthospinology procedure and generally associate all chiropractors with forceful spinal manipulation.
Since Orthospinology uses no spinal manipulation or forceful adjusting of the spine, it is one of the rare chiropractic procedures that is safe for patients who have already had spinal surgery.
The painless Orthospinology correction is made at the C1 (Atlas) level of the spine, therefore it is not necessary to directly adjust the common surgical areas of C4 through C7 in the neck and L3 through L5 in the lower back.
What type of results does Orthospinology achieve on post-surgical patients?
Orthospinology patient outcomes will vary for post-surgical patients, depending on the amount of spinal surgeries the patient has had, and the type of surgeries.
While our doctors aim for 100% improvement with each and every new patient we accept, we realize that many post-surgical patients have life-long histories of back injuries and may be limited in their degree of recovery.
As a general rule of thumb, patients who have had either laminectomies or fusions without hardware will respond quicker than patients who have had fusion with hardware.
Why haven’t you heard of Upper Cervical Orthospinology before?
This is the question of many people when they first hear about our office. Like our method, it relates to numbers. Of the thousands of chiropractors in the United States, only about 1% are certified to practice this specialized kind of treatment.
Why are there so few Orthospinologists?
Becoming a Chiropractic Orthospinologist requires many hours of extra study and training, and a special certification after chiropractic school.
Additionally, the practice of Orthospinology requires more time and analysis for each initial patient visit, and more time and focus in general with calculations and case work after we leave the room with you.
Typically we are able to make the required adjustment to your spine relatively quickly. However, even with our skill and experience, a complex misalignment may require more time, multiple x-rays, and focused professional care to correct.
The results we are able to achieve with our clinical method and mission are very rewarding. But the simple fact is, Orthospinology is also very challenging and requires a certain kind of chiropractic clinic to deliver.