Article by Dr. Michael Bucknell
The missing links in Corrective Chiropractic
Spinal correction in Chiropractic has come a long ways in recent years thanks to pioneering minds and technological advances. From scoliosis correction to cervical lordosis restoration, we can see improvements now in record times that some even today would find unimaginable. Nonetheless we also see some of the biggest challenges with more time spent texting, on personal devices, and a culture increasingly numb to the factors that affect their lives the most. The single biggest challenge to permanent structural correction however is the same now that it was decades ago, ligament damage.
Anyone engaged in corrective Chiropractic has seen it. Some patients don’t seem to do a thing but show up for adjustments. No home care, no lifestyle change, yet their spine corrects almost miraculously. Another does everything they are prescribed and beyond, yet weeks to months their process crawls along. The factor I’ve found to be the key is ligament damage. When the nerve system is working properly and the structure is intact, correction is entirely predictable once you understand the physics and anatomy. But when things don’t seem right and you’ve investigated every angle to make sure the patient isn’t spending 8 hours a day hunched over a laptop, there is almost certainly a structural integrity issue. And with the acquisition of a DMX Digital Motion Xray we can now see it in action with the same level of predictability. This has led to what I consider the “final frontier” of corrective Chiropractic, the quest to stimulate fast efficient ligament repair. Sounds impossible now, but with current technologies showing layers of promise (Laser, Platelet Rich Plasma, etc) I’m certain technology will find a way. That will be a revolutionary step for Chiropractic. Until then, our challenge is clear. After all the work we do in office to fix people, how do you maintain altered posture when they go home to an environment diametrically opposed? Body weighting has it’s limitations in the factor most important, time. Ditching the pillow for a comfortable lordosis roll helps while you sleep, but only gives your ligaments a little time to heal overridden if the next 16 hours are undoing the gains. I found I needed a sustained wear posture device patients could wear for hours not minutes. Most of the units I found searching just pulled back the shoulders flattening the TS doing nothing for the lordosis. So we created the first Posture Trainer in the back room out of necessity and it worked great minus a few problems, comfort and flexibility.
After learning from the mistakes of round one, I worked with Halo Products Inc to create and manufacture a complete redesign and we are quite happy with the result. The new Posture Trainer is comfortable, flexible, simple, and most of all effective. The wide elastic straps allow long term wear without cutting in around the waste. It’s firmly flexible at the right places to allow full range of motion while not wearing out from rubbing components. This means you can even exercise in it to maintain proper form. It’s also easy to put on; shoulders in first like a backpack, buckle it in the front, then pull the straps tight at the ring in the back to balance the fit. Taking just seconds to put on, compliance is improved dramatically. In testing and trial over the first year, we found we were achieving stable corrections we could not achieve before. Even in patients that were previously “minimally responsive”, this simple factor of having them wear this device a few extra hours a day has proved to balance the scale. What’s nice as well is of all the home care we provide our patients, this device is consistently their favorite to use and the one they value the most. So doctors can provide the necessary component of time sufficient posture retraining in one simple, comfortable, and easy to use device. We’ve found the Posture Trainer to be a true game changer especially when combined with head weighting and all the other fantastic processes many doctors already utilize. The next step in our evolution is quickly and safely stimulating damaged ligament regrowth and repair. Technology may be decades off or just around the bend. At the speed things are changing nobody knows. Until then time is our greatest foe or ally. We should harness time wisely and to our advantage, or we stand to lose it to a multitude of factors your patients are already doing even when you tell them not to.
Dr. Michael Bucknell is the owner of Liberation Chiropractic & Wellness in Mobile, Alabama as well as Innate Innovations Inc, and developer of the Posture Trainer as a necessary component to his spinal correction protocol.