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To Your Health

" Hey this stuff does work! Buuut…."

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07/01/2012 - Howdy! It's summer and I had a couple of things I was going to write to you about but I had something recently happen that made me reconsider. A couple of weeks ago I decided to call a classmate of mine who attended Chiropractic school with me to see how things were going. I thought I woke him up from a nap but he explained that he was in pain and been flat on his back for one and a half weeks resulting from what he thought was a herniated disc. He also mentioned to me that in looking at his MRI his lumbar discs were degenerated and there was bone remodeling. He admitted that he abused his back like so many can do when they are young -- jumping off stuff they shouldn't, lifting more than they should, bad posture, weak core conditioning etc. He felt guilty about getting into body building when he came out of school and doing squats when he knew better (especially because of the biomechanical loading on the lower spine).

After his "sinful confessional" he ask me about my back. I replied, "It's holding up well". He ask when was the last time my back had been X-rayed and I told him it was when he did it in 1982 when I had my last serious back problem. "Take care of it," he said and I told him I would talk to him later. I felt apprehensive afterward about my back. I've learned the same things that he did but did they make a difference? Is my back holding up like I feel it should. I worked on my core work every day, learning proper posture and maintaining it while working, standing and walking. I also avoided taking unnecessary risks such as jumping off the back end of trucks or walls and not doing any squats with weights since I did not plan on being in the NFL. Trying to have a proper diet is always a challenge and maintaining weight, all things that I have talked to my patients about. With some hesitation I decided to do it and X-rayed my back.

Results: I found my 1982 films. Why I had not discarded them I don't know, but I could at least compare themwith my new ones. Thank you God, my spine actually was the same if not better than 1982. I felt a sense of relief, but also frustrated that it has taken me 30 years to get my spine to look like this. It was not two-three weeks but more than half my life. Unfortunately, many individuals want their doctor or therapist to do what takes many years to get accomplished and it never ends, you're always working on it until you die if you want to stay mobile in your later years. You cannot have a jack-in-the-box form of health care for your body and expect it to look like a twenty something when it is a sixty-something. It takes years to get primitive core developed and strengthened -- not months. Posture correction can be months if not years.

What about those who have arthritis in their back? Unfortunately, they are in a tougher position but a position that still warrants care and responsibility -- yours, not the doctor's. You are given one original model; artificial joints are not as good as new. If someone tells you that, it's a lie. If you have one (or more) artificial joint in your body, you still have some limitations and, thank goodness. less pain. Yet you still have a responsibility to take care of what has been done for you. Don't ever quit or say It didn't work. You have to stick to it, especially when your options are pretty limited. Some days you may be sorer than others and you still may have some level of chronic pain.

I was watching a news channel and a commentator asked a "financial expert" what was the best investment for people to get into? I yelled at the TV, "Their Bodies for crying out loud!!" (much to my children's amusement). If you're going to have this body for 70-80 years it would be a great return to walk and be active rather than shuffling all bent over waiting for your chronic meds at the pharmacy. Never give up folks even when you want to or get tired of the grind.

Now back to my friend. I called and he was recovering from surgery and rehabbing his back . His surgeon, who had two back surgeries himself, was telling him what he needed to do. My friend's response to him was, "I should have taken better care of it and should not taken it for granted." Amen. Have a great summer!

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