Brannan Street Chiropractic:
Frequently Asked Questions
The primary goal of care at Brannan St. Chiropractic is to reduce or eliminate the damaging effects of abnormal posture on the body. By improving the patients posture and spinal biomechanics (spinal position) the stress and strain upon the muscles, ligaments, joints, and nervous system is minimized and the body has the greatest opportunity to heal. Only those techniques which have been validated clinically or through research are employed in working with the patient.
Research has proven that in order to change posture, many different techniques need to be appropriately applied: “Because mechanical loading of the neuro-musculoskeletal tissues plays a vital role in influencing proper growth and repair, chiropractic rehabilitative care should focus on the normalization/minimization of aberrant stresses and strains acting on spinal tissues.
Manipulation alone cannot restore body postures or improve an altered sagittal spinal curve.
Therefore, postural chiropractic adjustments, active exercises and stretches, resting spinal blocking procedures, extension traction and ergonomic education are deemed necessary for maximal spinal rehabilitation.” (J Manipulation Physiol Ther 1998; 21:37N50).
Therefore, all of these procedures are routinely used to assist the patient in regaining and then maintaining their normal structure and ultimately their function.
Q:What kinds of things does a chiropractor treat?
A: In my office, patients present with a variety of conditions ranging from lower back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. Regardless of the type of condition presented by the patient, the spinal analysis is the same. I am concerned about how your spinal and postural structure is affecting your nervous system, your muscles, joints, and ligaments. The greater majority of the time, structural problems are the cause of musculoskeletal pain and often, the root cause of other problems as well. By finding the cause of your problem, I am able to assist your own body in healing itself.
That said, the most common types of problems I see are: neck pain, back pain, headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, problems associated with automobile accidents, and athletic injuries.
In addition, there are patients who are looking for a conservative approach to an athletic injury or extremity problem. There are also more and more people who present for examination simply because the have learned that in order to be as healthy as possible, they must have normal posture. Therefore, they want their spine and posture checked and corrected if it is found to be out of alignment from normal.
Q: How is Chiropractic Biophysics® Different from other Chiropractic Techniques?
A: Chiropractic Biophysics® is a relatively new, state of the art chiropractic technique that incorporates many of the benefits of traditional chiropractic manipulation with a targeted rehabilitative strategy specifically designed to make predictable, measurable changes in your spinal position. As a CBP® physician, I understand that traditional chiropractic manipulation will not make consistent, predictable changes to the shape of the spine (i.e. posture) therefore we design a specific treatment program consisting of specialized adjustments, exercises, and traction which target the ligaments and muscles surrounding the spine to make permanent postural changes. Correcting spinal posture not only reduces pain and immobility, but can also reduce excess wear and tear on the spine by minimizing abnormal stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments and joints. The CBP® approach has been tested both clinically and experimentally with over 100 peer reviewed research papers published in the indexed medical and chiropractic literature.
Q: Does chiropractic treatment hurt?
A: No, not generally. There are certainly times when correction of posture is uncomfortable, much like working out or performing a strenuous task of which you are unaccustomed. Every effort is made to work within your tolerance to make as much change as possible in as short a time as possible with minimal discomfort.
Many times, patients have had an abnormal posture for many years. When this is the case, the muscles, ligaments, and joints are accustomed to their current position. Changing that position is important, and at times uncomfortable. However again I stress, never in such a way as to be intolerable to the patient.
Q: Why should I care about my posture?
A: Your posture is an outward representation of how your spine is built. Research into what makes a body healthy has demonstrated that normal posture is essential for your body to function optimally. The majority of the afflictions which plague mankind have as their root, abnormal structure. That little ditty we all learned as children “the foot bone is connected to the leg bone is connected to the thigh bone, is connected to the pelvic bone…” is ever so true. By making certain your posture is as good as possible, you ultimately enable your body to be as healthy as possible, and even avoid many if not all of the problems associated with an aging spine.
“Posture and normal physiology and function are interrelated. Abnormal posture is evident in patients with chronic pain-related conditions including backache, headache, and stress-related illnesses.” AJPM 1994; 4:36-39.
In this article from the January 1994 issue of the American Journal of Pain Management, the authors state that most physicians do not address the significant influence of posture on health. I would add that unfortunately, postural correction is not part of main stream chiropractic practice as yet either. However, as the authors go on to state, “posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influences by posture.”
Obviously, the proper assessment, analysis, and if possible, correction of abnormal posture is an extremely important component of modern health care. Brannan Street Chiropractic specializes in the analysis and correction of abnormal postures with the use of Clinical Biomechanics of Posture (CBP). CBP is a relatively new, state of the art chiropractic technique that incorporates many of the benefits of traditional chiropractic manipulation with a targeted rehabilitative strategy specifically designed to make predictable, measurable changes in your spinal position. The CBP approach has been tested both clinically and experimentally with over 100 peer reviewed research papers published in the indexed medical and chiropractic literature.
Q: When should some have their spine examined?
A: I am asked this question quite often by patients who attend my Spinal Care Class. The answer is quite simple. I generally recommend an evaluation as soon as children start school. This answer occasionally startles people because they think if they do not have pain, why should they be examined?
If this philosophy was applied to dental evaluations and treatment, the condition of your teeth would be quite nasty. You could have multiple cavities, and possibly gum disease before you ever had any symptoms. What a shame! Why not be proactive and find out early if you have a spinal problem, and then correct it or improve it as much as possible. You then have the option of maintaining a better quality of life, and enjoying optimum health.
Q: Who do some people go to chiropractors over and over again? I have heard once you go, you have to go forever.
A: Ultimately, your health is your own business. Many people in the last 10-15 years have discovered that ultimately, your health is your responsibility, and no one else’s. Therefore, by learning the fundamental truth that “structure determines function” they desire to have their structure as normal and healthy as possible. Once your posture is corrected, you may require (and often do) occasional check ups to insure you remain aligned normally. This is not such a foreign concept. Think of those folks you know who have had their teeth aligned. More often than not, a “retainer” is required to maintain the new and healthy position of the teeth.
Ultimately, you decide what you want out of chiropractic care in my office. If you simply want to get rid of your pain without drugs or surgery, and as soon as you feel better, be done with your care, you may certainly choose this option (called “Patch Care). However if you want to be as structurally sound as possible, you may choose to correct or improve your spine as much as is possible (“Fix Care”) and then periodically be checked to be sure you are as good as can be (“Wellness or Maintenance Care”).
Once corrected, many patients choose to continue supporting their health with periodic spinal adjustments. However, this choice is due to understanding the relationship between structure and function, and optimal health.
Feel free to contact me at (415) 525-4865 or