2863 California Street, San Francisco, California 94115

Chiropractic for the Structural Side of the Triad of Health

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Chiropractic philosophy explains both the art and science of chiropractic, which holds a core belief that the body holds an innate ability to heal itself, given the right circumstances. The chiropractor seeks to provide the body with circumstances that will promote healing.

The Council on Chiropractic Education offers the following definition:

"A doctor of chiropractic is a physician whose purpose , as a member of the healing arts, is to help meet the health needs of the public, giving particular attention to the structural and neurological aspects of the body. The application of science in chiropractic concerns itself with the relationship between structure, primarily the spine, and function primarily coordinated by the nervous system, of the human body as that relationship may affect the restoration and preservation of health. Furthermore, this application of science in chiropractic focuses on the inherent ability of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery."

According to Virgil Strang, DC, chiropractic began in 1895, when D.D. Palmer went beyond crude manipulation, bone-setting, traction, and massage to introduce the specific, short-lever high-velocity vertebral adjustment. Rather than treating disease, the chiropractor detects and corrects interference in the nervous system. A condition of vertebral subluxation can be cared for before the patient begins to experience serious symptoms and disease. D.D. Palmer taught that disease is caused by trauma, toxicity, and autosuggestion. His concepts have been transformed over the last 127 years into a philosophy that views health as a homeostatic state composed of a triad of structural, chemical, and mental factors, Balance within the triad forms an equilateral triangle. When a person experiences poor health, imbalance in one factor of the triad can be a contributor. Imbalance in two or three factors can be found in people with severe and chronic health problems. Often, a health problem starts on one side of the triad and eventually involves all three aspects. Any side of the triad can affect the other sides, both as causative factors of health problems, and in therapeutic approaches.

THE STRUCTURAL SIDE OF OF THE TRAIAD OF HEALTH:

Structure, with which chiropractic has always been concerned, is the base of the triad of health. Chiropractors address structural issues by treating nerve, joint, and myofascial dysfunction by removing subluxations to improve nerve, joint, muscle, lymphatic, and vascular function. Chiropractors and personal trainers also address structural issues by increasing their patient’s and client's functional capacity with active rehabilitation and functional training. In addition, ergonomics addresses the structural issues by helping people maintain their neutral postures while interfacing with their workstations.

The structural part of the triad of health involves the relationship between the function of locomotion and the workings of the biomechanical neuromusculoskeletal systems. The integrated professions, which act on this side of the triad, are chiropractic, fitness, and ergonomics. The mechanical lesion referred to by chiropractors and stated eloquently by Joseph Janse, D.C., "a subluxation is an attending complication of those chemical, mechanical, and/or environmental irritations of the nervous system which in man, the biped, produce muscle contractions sufficient to cause articular dysfunction. Once produced the lesion becomes a focus of sustained pathological irritation. It irritates proprioceptors in the articular capsules, ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the involved segment. The barrage of nerve impulses stream into the spinal cord where interneurons receive them, and then relay them to motor pathways for the conduction of muscles and glands initially in excessive amounts, but the contraction which provoked the subluxation in the first place, is thereby reinforced, thus perpetuating both the subluxation and the process it engenders". The subluxation is typically treated with high velocity and low amplitude adjustments of the spine, pelvis, temporomandibular joints, and extremities.

Chiropractors and fitness trainers advocate how to improve functional capacity (strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and motor control-balance and coordination), because neuromusculoskeletal structures (ligaments, joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, tendons, and nerves) are constantly subjected to biomechanical forces such as tension, torsion, compression, and shear. When functional capacity is less than what the work or activity demands, micro failure (fatigue) and eventual injury are the result.

The distress these demands placed on the neuromusculoskeletal system acts against the system's functional capacity, and when the distress outweighs a patient's capacity thus one's internal resistance, then signs, symptoms, and injuries results. Maintaining neutral postures keeps demands and distress to a minimum. Maintaining ideal functional capacity keeps the body's internal resistance up, toward ideal elite athletic ability.

Chiropractors, fitness trainers, and ergonomist place emphasis on educating their patients and clients in maintaining neutral body postures while in static postures and during dynamic motion. Good ergonomics and proper biomechanics are advocated at work, home, and during athletic activities. This emphasis on better posture helps prevent injury and enhances performance.

Chiropractic, Fitness, & Ergonomics models for the Structural side of the Triad of Health: minimize structural distress & build structural internal resistance- 

Structural Distress Risk Factors:

• Injury, structural irregularities, & awkward postures

• Joint (i.e. motion segment) & myofascial dysfunction

• Deconditioning & altered nerve function (i.e. slowed nerve velocity due to nerve impingement, thus compression)

Structural Internal Resistance Remedies:

• Manual therapies & physiologic therapeutics

• Active rehabilitation & functional training

• Ergonomics & occupational health promotion


Our expertise is in the prevention and proper management of traumatic and repetitive injuries of the spine, pelvis, extremities, and soft tissues of the body.

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