Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP): The most research-based method of spinal correction in chiropractic
There is no replacement for a skilled set of hands being able to detect and adjust joints that are “stuck” or not moving well. Such joints are commonly associated with alignment problems that chiropractors call ‘subluxations’. CBP offers an additional “missing piece” to this health care puzzle through a combination of precise postural corrective exercises, postural corrective adjustments, and corrective traction (spinal remodeling).
CBP practitioners examine spines, measure how far they’ve deviated from normal, decide if this displacement might be involved with pain or dysfunction, and correct the spine towards normal if necessary.
In my practice, when a chronic pain patient begins care, x-rays are usually taken to assess the state of their spine and to rule out certain spinal conditions. But I also need to see if the alignment and shape of their spine is “within normal limits” compared to an ideal model. If x-ray measurements reveal an area of the spine is displaced outside the normal limits, the patient may be a candidate for CBP ‘Spinal Structural Rehabilitation’. I will then design a specific treatment plan, and at various intervals of care take comparative x-rays to gauge progress and measure the objective changes.
CBP practitioners don’t have magical adjusting powers, they are simply trained to use science to diagnose a problem, and use a unique treatment (mirror-image adjustments, mirror-image exercise and mirror-image traction) to correct a patient’s particular alignment issue. For posture and alignment correction, I only use techniques such as CBP Structural Rehabilitation that have demonstrated consistent, published evidence of effectiveness in correcting the shape of the spine towards an established normal value.
The most basic example of this is reducing forward head carriage in people with neck pain. It is just common sense that having your head project ahead of your torso is going to put stress on the neck and back. The same idea applies to the whole spine. Each area of the spine has particular and well-defined deviations from normal. CBP focuses on identifying the specific type of deviation a patient may have, and pairing this displacement with a unique, precise protocol for correcting the problem.
CBP is more than posture. It is about curvature and measureable spinal alignment.
CBP practitioners look deeper than just posture. We also look at spinal x-rays, and determine the curvature and alignment of the spine. This is critical, because posture alone does not provide information about spinal alignment.
Let’s take the example of head posture and neck curvature. A person could have perfect head and shoulder posture where, when viewed from the side, their head is perfectly seated on their neck and shoulders. Everyone would agree that this person has great posture. But what if this person was suffering from chronic neck pain? How could a doctor or therapist who only focused on posture help? By taking an x-ray of this patient’s neck, one would be able to see if the patient had a normal curve where the peak of the curve points towards the throat, or a reversed curve where the peak of the curve points towards the back of the neck. Thus, an x-ray allows one to determine whether this person with perfect posture has a neck with a normal curve or an abnormal curve. This gives CBP doctors options for treatment where traditional posture-focused treatments would run out of options.
CBP traction is different…
This part is boring, but important. Traction is a unique therapy that is distinct from other therapies like exercise, stretching, adjustments, etc. Traction is a sustained stretch applied to joints that are relaxed. Traction is sometimes used in surgery, and it is sometimes used by chiropractors and other therapists to “decompress” injured spinal discs. The type of traction used by CBP practitioners is very different from either of these types of traction.
CBP traction is intended to change the structure of ligaments, which hold the spine locked into a unique shape for each person. It involves bending the spine into the mirror-image of its abnormal shape, and holding this mirror-image position long enough to allow ligaments to begin to “creep”. CBP traction sometimes utilizes combinations of different pulls to change the shape of the spine.