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The Pettibon System : Posture Correction and Spinal Rehabilitation
 

                 

“Forward head posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.” The Mayo Clinic, Nov. 3rd, 2000

Your spine is perfectly designed for normal standing posture. It consists of a series of curves called the Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar. The three spinal curves make up a natural ‘S’ curve, which we associate with good posture. When these three curves are intact it leads to an increase in spinal strength, which is 16 times greater than that of a straight column. Your spinal cord, which is housed in your spine, benefits by running most efficiently when you have proper spinal curves. If you lose the proper curves your spinal cord is stretched and loses blood supply. Thus, your entire body system is maximized by good posture.  The Pettibon System restores spinal curves and helps keep your spine young, for life.

Abnormal posture can cause alterations in some of our basic physiological processes and cause problems: Headaches, blood pressure, emotional highs and lows, digestion issues, elimination problems, diminished lung capacity, and hormone imbalance have all been linked to poor posture.

Instead of just adjusting the individual vertebrae of the spine, Pettibon doctors also adjust the spine as a whole. If we move individual segments but ignore your poor posture then degeneration and aberrant nerve function continues. Implement the Pettibon System and spinal regeneration and posture correction is possible.

Usually, when seeking help from Dr Brunke, he will follow the Pettibon System guidelines and do a series of very specific x-rays. However, a rudimentary way of looking at the spine would be to analyze your posture. The posture is a window to the spine. If your head is jetting just one inch out in front of your body it effectively doubles the weight your head will be affecting your entire body.

 “For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol 3.

The Pettibon System is a system of spinal reconstruction which brings your body to its optimum mechanical and neurological state. This creates a person that has extra reserves for his or her body systems because the body does not have to expend extra energy to keep itself up. Your brain/body connection will be optimized due to proper spinal curve restoration. Latest research shows that when we lose our spinal curves the spinal cord loses some of its blood supply and cells go into hibernation and slowly die.

Restoration of the spine is not about beating the body into position. It is a system of adjusting and rehabilitating which causes your body to adapt into the desired function. The body is coaxed into alignment by adding forces by which the body must adapt to. The body’s own adaptive response is creating most of the change. Much like putting a backpack on an having your body go into a poor posture, with the Pettibon Weighting System weight is put on the body to have it go into a desired posture with optimal spinal curves.

                                                            

                                           An Example of the Pettibon Weighting System

I practiced traditional chiropractic for 14 years and saw dramatic results. All techniques in chiropractic offer a great benefit to humanity. However, knowledge of the spine and nervous system is rapidly increasing with the information age and the Pettibon System applies that knowledge to you and others. Pettibon shows quantifiable results that are visible on x-ray. This was not the case with the other techniques I was using. When I did start to x-ray some of my regular patients, I was surprised to see that many of them had poor spinal curves and degenerating discs. This could have been prevented had they been under Pettibon care. 

Why Does Good Posture Matter?

Your brain controls the function of your body by sending millions of electrical signals per second as quickly as 170 miles per hour through your spinal cord and nerves directing every function of your body’s 70,000 trillion cells. As amazing as this system is, it can be hindered with poor posture. Good posture and spinal alignment is essential for optimum function of this vital informational pathway. If correct posture is altered, or spinal curves are diminished, over a long period there is a direct negative affect on the brain and spinal cord. This is a well researched fact!

Good Posture…It’s more than just standing up straight.

Proper posture:
1. Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces.   For example, with a forward head posture the body is subject to a cascade of challenging weight bearing forces.

Forward Head Posture Leading to Problems Throughout the Body

If your 8 to 10 pound head is out in front of you just one inch it effectively doubles the weight the body must absorb in its joints. The calves might get tighter due to increased weight on the toes, the knees have shearing forces on them, the lumbar discs have a build up of more force leaving them more prone to herniation/degeneration and the cervical spine is more apt to degenerate. Even the rounding of the shoulders will put the shoulder joints in a vulnerable position.

2. Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently to keep you erect, allowing the body to use less energy. When muscles are overworked due to poor posture they go into spasm and take away your vitality. Thus, when good posture is restored more energy is left for functioning in your day. 

“The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing.”            -Roger Sperry, PhD
                      Nobel Prize winner in brain research

3. Promotes optimum spinal cord function. When we lose our spinal curves the spinal cord gets stretched and is subject to a decrease in blood supply. Energy (ATP) production from the power house or mitochondria of the cell decreases. Over a period of time, the cord atrophies and communication between the brain and the body becomes diminished. The entire health of the body goes downward.

4. Prevents backache and muscular pain. When proper spinal alignment is reached the ligaments, muscles and joints have less [pastedGraphic_5.pdf] stress and irritation on them and thus have less pain. When proper alignment is achieved the body is mechanically balanced, healing and preventing injuries.  When the spine is allowed to move freely, via chiropractic adjustments, there is a pain relieving affect. Proper spinal movement stimulates pain relieving nerves with every move you make.

5. Contributes to a good appearance and a sense of well being. Research shows that depressed people were markedly happier when posture was corrected. Time to get off those antidepressants! 

Here is a guide to help you determine if you have any unwanted postural deviations.

Front View- Stand facing a full length mirror, close your eyes walk in place turning your head from side to side, stop in what feels like a centered posture, open your eyes and do not move.

VERTICAL ALIGNMENT- Perfect standing posture is when the following are properly aligned–the points between your eyes, chin, collarbone, breastbone, pubic area and midpoint between your ankles;
HEAD- Are your eyes level of do you have a head tilt? You may also see some talking heads on television with a head tilt. Notice President Obama. He tends have a right head tilt.

SHOULDERS- Are the shoulders level and do they slump forward? This may come from carrying a purse or slumping over a computer. Check your children to catch postural deviations and scoliosis early.
SIDES- Check the spaces between your arms and sides to see if they are equal.
KNEES- Do your kneecaps face straight ahead?

Side View- This is done by the same procedure as above but with the help of a camera. Set the self timer on a dinner table and take a profile picture of your whole body.
HEAD- Is your head jetting forward? This is epidemic in our society and is a major insult on the health of the spine, spinal cord and body. Here the ears should be lined up with the center of the shoulders. The chin should be parallel to the floor.

SHOULDERS- Make sure they are not slumping forward or pulled too far back.
STOMACH- The stomach should be flat. Too much sticking out can indicate a hyperlordosis of the lower back.

Good posture is more than just a visual analysis of the way one stands, walks and sits. It involves a scientific analysis of a spinal x-ray to calculate the spinal curves. Engineers determined that the spine is more than 16 times stronger with the curves than if the curves are lost in life. In fact, in our office your spinal curves will be analyzed, seated, flexing forward, arching backward and with the load of weights. 

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Just look at an Olympic power lifter who arches the lumbar spine upon lifting record amounts of weight. This would be injurious with a rounded spine.

The cervical curve is the arc in the neck made up by the vertebrae. 

“Loss of the cervical curve stretches the spinal cord 5-7 cm and causes Disease.” Alf Breig, MD Neurosurgeon and Nobel Prize Recipient

We have a cervical curve at 8 weeks in the womb. As an adult your cervical curve should be approximately 45 degrees for optimum mechanical and neurological function. When we lose the curve our spinal cord and it’s surrounding blood vessels are stretched. This interrupts vital signal transmission to and from the brain. Spinal curves are important! 

Research shows that a loss of the cervical curve can lead to the following:

With a proper curve your spinal cord is on the concave side of the curve. When the curve is lost the spinal cord is stretched leading to many health issues.

Chronic headaches

Low back pain

Degeneration of the spine
Poor injury recovery
Arm pain
TMJ disorders
A change in mental health status
Acute and chronic neck pain
Poor respiratory function/apnea
Spinal cord atrophy
Airway obstruction
Increased vulnerability to injury


The thoracic curve (or the curve in the mid back) should not be flat or hunched. When the thoracic curve is greater or less than normal it may be implicated in the following:

* A 2009 study found that senior citizens with hyperkyphotic thoracic curves (or overly stooped posture) have higher mortality rates (early death). Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American Geriatric Society

An increase in falls
An increased likelihood of suffering whiplash injury
Sagging breasts
Lowered lung capacity

Going Deeper and Looking to the Spinal Curves 

As with the Olympic athlete example, the lumbar curve is essential for spinal strength and a loss of the curve is implicated in the following:

Degeneration of the lumbar discs (Note that a recuperation of the curve with specific Pettibon exercises may rehydrate discs and increase their height)
Nerve compression leading to lower body pain, bowel/organ dysfunction
Increased likelihood of disc herniations

Scoliotic Curves 

From the front the spine should have no curves. If there is a curve, depending on the size, this indicates scoliosis or a scoliotic curve. There are health implications that will last a lifetime if untreated. Please note that traditional/segmental chiropractic care has not been shown to be effective. However, with the Pettibon System there is hope for people with scoliosis.

Realize that this is not standard chiropractic. This is a system that integrates pattented spinal rehabilitation with chiropractic care to predictably and measureably help scoliosis.

Is Disc Degeneration Permanent?

The New Science of Spinal Regeneration

“Patients and doctors alike are under the misconception that once a spinal condition exists — including disc degeneration, disc herniation and nerve damage — you need surgery or are forced to live with pain, weakness and organ malfunction for the rest of your life. However, the truth behind today’s spinal treatments bears that while the spine can easily degenerate it can, with intelligent and concerted effort, also regenerate. Therefore, many conditions once believed to be permanent can not only be healed, but reversed. 

Spinal regeneration and disc regeneration are attainable for many. 

To receive spinal regeneration, you must go to a chiropractor trained in this area of spinal care. The Pettibon System is designed to restore spinal curvatures and bring motion and fluid back to the cervical and lumbar discs. The safety and effectiveness of this type of program are far superior to any type of surgery. When accompanied with the right nutrients and additional exercises shown to you by your corrective care chiropractor, all of the elements necessary for spinal regeneration are there. At any age, with any level of degeneration, the potential for some degree of correction and healing is possible.” 

Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Fred DiDomenico – Mercola.com

At our office, we employ Dr. Pettibon’s research-tested equipment and adjusting procedures, including a home care system for faster longer lasting recovery. We also take x-rays to diagnose spinal conditions, assess treatment progress, and provide proof of treatment effectiveness.

Everything from standing upright, to sleeping, to going to the bathroom is under direct control of the spinal column and the nervous system it encases. Yet, not very much medical or media attention is focused on sustaining this all-important area of the human body. As a result of the neglect, abuse and poor focus both the spine and nervous system receive, most people suffer greatly with the results of deterioration in this area at some point in their lives.

A View from the Inside

A review of published literature indicates that the upright adult spine loses up to 20 mm (slightly more than 3/4 inch) of vertical height each day due to loss of fluid from the spinal discs. The sleep cycle allows the unloaded discs to regain most, but not all, of their fluid and height by the re-absorption of fluid surrounding the discs (Kapandji, 1974).

Since all the fluid and disc height is not regained, the spine becomes shorter starting around age 30. It is common to lose up to 2 inches of stature by age 60 due to the loss of disc fluid. In addition, loss of disc fluid and height compromise spinal form and function (Kapandji, 1974). When the discs lose their height the nerves, which exit between the vertebrae and send vital messages to your body systems, are more likely to be compressed. 

The discs are comprised of 88 percent water. Proper hydration is essential for nourishment, lubrication and function of all joint cartilages, tendons, ligaments and spinal discs’ nutrition delivery and waste elimination. When the body is not properly hydrated, it pulls water out of the “white tissues” first, meaning the ligaments (including the discs), tendons and joints of the body. If the body continues to not get adequate water, the body will then pull it out of the organs, eventually the brain and then you will die.

A loss of only 12 percent of the water out of the spinal disc will reduce the disc height by 50 percent.

Surprisingly, the loss of 1 mm of height in a cervical disc and 1.4 mm loss of height in the lumbar disc will cause the same amount of neurological compression and nerve encroachment equal to an 8-degree rotation. (It takes a 3-degrees of rotation to cause nerve compression!) So you can see that it doesn’t take much water loss in the body to start affecting your discs and the function of your nervous system.

How does the water get lost? Between ages 12-14, the spinal discs lose their blood supply. So they must get their nutrition from movement of the bones or vertebrae that they are attached to. The discs will have to receive their necessary water, nutrients and waste elimination in the same way fluid passes through a sponge when it is squeezed under water.

This becomes a challenge because, as people get older, they may become more sedentary, develop advancing spinal and postural degenerative conditions and ultimately lose the segmental motion of their spine. Once they lose this motion, the discs quickly dehydrate and lose height. This leads to nerve encroachment and chronic pain syndromes that soon advance to problems with organs, glands and tissues.

Gaining Water

The Pettibon Wobble Chair which helps motion your lumbar discs.

Chiropractors involved with spinal correction and rehabilitation can detect levels of disc degeneration and correct the spinal displacements that are causing nerve impingement. This helps the nervous system to function optimally and keep the body healthy. Until recently, it had been thought, once a disc was degenerated and lost height it could not be restored. It had also been thought that loss of disc height could not be prevented. These assumptions are no longer true.

Discs can rehydrate and regenerate. To put it quite simply, your discs need three things to regenerate:

Motion

After the age of 12 you lose the blood supply to your discs. This leaves motion as the only way to pump out waste material out and bring nutrition in to the disc. In a sedentary person it can take up to 500 days for this flushing of the disc to take place. With the Pettibon System you will create this metabolic exchange in your discs on a daily basis

Water

When causing this disc imbibition/drinking in of fluid through the Pettibon Wobble Chair, Pettibon Cervical Traction and spinal decompression machine you will need plenty of water in your body. Many beverages such as soda, coffee, beer and wine are diuretics and do not count toward water consumption when under Pettibon Chiropractic care.

Nutrients

Nutrient delivery into the discs is imperative to give your body the building blocks it needs to create new collagenous disc material. Nutritional advisement may be a crucial part of your care.

Research has shown, if we can provide loading and unloading cycles to the spine, we can literally “suck” water back into the disc and rehydrate it predictably. This is done by osmosis and imbibing. 

Repetitive traction (elongation) followed by compression of the discs produce a drinking in of water into the disc. This helps the doctor achieve an easier adjustment as well as re-hydrating the disc. 

When the spine is soft, it is easier to mold into the new and improved posture. The newly liquified disc will require 16-20 minutes to harden like Jell-O again. Once the spine is adjusted and the structure is corrected, the spine can be molded and hardened into its new shape. 

The Pettibon System 

For this reason, pre-adjustment warm-ups using the Pettibon Wobble Chair and Repetitive Cervical Traction become essential for spinal correction and regeneration. Here are some of the benefits of loading and unloading cycles using the wobble chair and cervical traction.

The discs ligaments and tendons are nourished.
The discs, ligaments, tendons and adhesions that might be holding the vertebral units out of their normal position are made progressively less resistant to spinal corrective adjusting.
Up to 95 percent of the force needed to adjust is reduced by these repetitive cycle warm-ups.
Re-hydrated discs and increased disc height.
Increased disc and tendon strength.
Decreased potential for injury or severity of injury.
Lubrication for spinal joints and nourishment for their cartilage.
Prevention of scar tissue during healing.

The Pettibon Chiropractic system offers a cervical decompressive type of traction along with a lumbar motion device designed to restore spinal curves and bring motion and fluid back to the cervical and lumbar discs. The safety and effectiveness of this type of program are far superior to any type of surgery. However, if you need a surgical consult, we refer to fine neurosurgeons that only cut when absolutely needed.

When accompanied with the right nutrients and additional exercises shown to you by your corrective care chiropractor, all of the elements necessary for spinal regeneration are there. At any age, with any level of degeneration, the potential for some degree of correction and healing is possible.

Research on the Pettibon System of Spinal Rejuvenation & Decompression:

Radiographic disc height increases after a trial of multi-modal spine rehabilitation and vibration traction: a retrospective case series Ian Horseman DC, Mark Morningstar DC, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (2008) 7, 140- 145

This initial study was done to see if the SRT system of spinal decompression, which uses whole body vibration and includes the use of the wobble chair, cervical repetitive traction,

Chiropractic adjustments, and body weighting rehabilitation, could improve disc height. The loss of spinal disc height is a common part of degenerative disc disease.

Hope for those in chronic pain

Do you experience any of the following which relates to chronic pain?

 -Pain that never stops or keeps coming back (chronic pain).

-Restriction of certain activities in your life like sleeping on one side, doing a sport, sitting for long periods of time, etc. because it flares up your pain.

-An old injury that continues to show up.

-A pain or dysfunction that you think will never go away.

-Suffering body parts that you tend to dismiss because you have been told,“It’s just arthritis.”

-Pain that is caused by work.

Your chronic pain persists for reasons that are addressed in our office with the Pettibon System. In all likelihood, your pain comes from one or a combination of three tissues (detailed below) or systems of the body. Your care will be tailored to help relieve persistent problems by addressing these areas:

1. Connective Tissue Remodeling

     a. Ligaments

     b. Spinal Discs

     c. Adhesions or Scar Tissue

2. Muscles Worked Posturally

3. Nervous System Reprogramming

GOOD NEWS- When under care, you will have your scar tissue softened and decrease it’s influence on your spine and nervous system.

When under care in this office you will go through very specific ways to decrease the effects of scar tissue. From the adjusting techniques to muscle work and home care, scar tissue will be softened and normal more organized tissue will be able to do its job.

2. Getting your muscles to work for you

When the primary mover (dominant muscle) plays too much or too little of a role in joint movement an imbalance is present. With posture it usually relates to postural muscles. The result can be pain patterns within muscles, groups of muscles or joints that track improperly. This sets the stage for friction, inflammation and chronic pain.

Forward Head Posture Leading to Problems Throughout the Body

Muscle imbalance can happen from trauma to the joint, muscles themselves or to the spinal cord/nerves. Less obvious is the subtle use of a group of muscles over another when in a position over a prolonged period of time. Examples might be sitting in front of a computer, standing at a job all day, driving in a hunched posture or even exercising with improper form. IMAGE 67 Person hunched over a computer 

Postural muscles are under the control of what is called the autonomic (automatic) nervous system. This part of your nervous system also controls organs like the heart, lungs and adrenal glands. Like theses organs, you should not have to consciously think about what position you are in. If you have had failed attempts at muscle rehabilitation in the past then it is likely that you were working phasic (conscious) muscles and not tapping into the unconscious postural muscular system. 

With the Pettibon System you will be participating in muscle strengthening that leads to a stronger more stable you. This structure will be sound whether or not you are thinking of keeping your posture in line. 

3. Reprogramming Your Nervous System

One can strengthen muscles, regenerate discs and remodel scar tissue but if the nervous system is not programmed to hold the body in its new position then breaking free from the grip of chronic problems will not be achieved. The nervous system must be reprogrammed.

Pain patterns are usually neurological in nature and your body will be flooded with proper neurological input in order to retrain your body to its more optimal self. This takes exacting repetition. Creating a neurological pattern can take time. In 2002 Barry Zito played for the OaklandA’s and reached a pinnacle for major league pitchers by receiving the Cy Young Award. His neurology knew how to wind up and throw the ball the way his brain desired. Well, in 2007 he started with the San Francisco Giants and decided to change his wind up. The change was disastrous. What happened? One neurological programming was being switched for another and it takes an incredible amount of repetition to get out of one pattern and successfully pitch in the new one.

If you are in chronic pain your body is accustomed to this dysfunctional neurological pattern of movement, muscle firing and pain signals being sent to the brain. With Pettibon, we will identify the correct pattern and accelerate the neurological re-education with very specific modalities such as the Pettibon Weighting System, whole body vibration, dominant eye occlusion therapy, neuro-nutritive supplementations and many others. Thus, a barrage of new healthy signals will take over destructive neurological patterns. 

With the exception of a severe re-injury you will be able to keep your neurology from getting in these pain patterns for the rest of your life and do most of the work at home. This puts more power in your hands and eliminates a lifetime dependence on chiropractic care.

There is hope for you who are in chronic pain.

Call (831) 372-5602

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if the Pettibon System will work for me?

You will not be automatically put under Pettibon care. You may just be a candidate for regular chiropractic care. We will first determine how you will respond to the care and this requires testing. In one test, you will wear your custom Pettibon System Weights and have your neck re-x-rayed. Other tests evaluate whether postural muscles are strong enough for the corrective procedures. If there are weaknesses in your structure that would limit your ability to participate in the Pettibon System then exercises will be given. Usually they take 2 to 3 weeks of home strengthening. 

What am I responsible for doing?

With the Pettibon System, you actively participate in your own care. With the proper guidance, you can make a lasting change to the longevity of your spine and nervous system.

When you come to our office you won’t see magazines with the latest on popular culture because you will not be sitting passively waiting to see the doctor. This valuable time will be spent helping your self by doing warm up exercises stretching muscles, ligaments and discs using the Wobble ChairTM and the Repetitive Cervical TractionTM.

“The prehab makes the rehab.”

The Repetitive Cervical Traction and Wobble Chair produce a temporary soften the discs in the neck and back making spinal correction easier. When the tissues are re-hardening you will have your Pettibon Weighting System on. This makes it so the discs and ligamentous tissues stiffen back up while you are in the new posture. Strengthening postural muscles and building endurance is an ongoing process with The Pettibon System. So you will be using our rehabilitation equipment in the office—as well as your own equipment twice daily at home. Don’t worry. The daily home regime will only last as long as it takes to make the correction. After that, you will do home exercised on a less frequent basis.

What does this process look like and does care go on forever?

The Pettibon System is done in three distinct phases. 

Phase I – Acute Care 

From the first 14 to 28 days of your care, the emphasis is on pain relief and restoration of the cervical curve. You will receive training on your home care with equipment and procedures. Strengthening is given so that the weighting system can be employed as soon as possible.

Each visit to the office includes a functional, neurological, and postural examination. Your spinal adjustments will be based on visual examinations, palpatory assessment and your x-ray findings. These precise adjustments consist of forces which create more space between your vertebrae and are more effective for relieving nerve compression. More importantly, these adjustments are proven to be necessary for spinal correction.

At the end of acute care, you are re-x-rayed with weights on to assess exact weight increments to correct the curves in your spine and give you great posture. 

Phase II – Rehabilitation and Correction 

Permanent spinal correction is the goal of rehabilitation. A lasting correction requires use of the Wobble Chair, Head/Shoulder and Hip Weights, Dynamic Linear Traction, Spinal Molding and Isometric Exercise Rehabilitation until the pre-determined correction goals are achieved. Goals for a lateral spine view are approximately 45 degrees cervical curve and a 35 degree lumbar curve.  

Phase III – Maintenance and Supportive Care 

The purpose of the final phase of care is to maintain and enhance your spinal correction, muscle strength and endurance. The forces, such as bending, lifting, computing, etc., that got you into a poor posture will still be working to counteract good posture but continued home care will help maintain the posture you have worked to achieve. Periodically, you will come to the office to do a full workout also incorporating whole body vibration. The doctor will give you a brief functional, neurological and postural exam. You will only be adjusted if the doctor’s analysis shows this is necessary. With this partnership approach, you should expect to keep your spine healthy for the rest of your life.

The Pettibon Weighting SystemTM 

How then do Pettibon practitioners take these principles and put them into practice by re-aligning the spine so that it can function optimally in its upright position relative to gravity? They apply the science at the core of The Pettibon System: The patented Pettibon Weighting System.

The Pettibon Weighting System consists of specially designed head, shoulder and hip weights that you wear. The amount of weights and their placement depend upon the spinal displacement that needs to be corrected.

How the weights work: Wearing the weights alters the head’s, thoracic cage’s and pelvis’s centers of mass, causing the righting reflexes to send spine correcting sensory input to the nervous system. To balance the body to the weights, the nervous system’s innate organizing energy causes some involved spinal muscles to relax and others to contract, thereby repositioning and correcting the spine and posture relative to gravity. This works on the same principle that is seen when a student wears a backpack full of books and hunches forward or a woman wears a purse and lifts the shoulder that the purse is hanging from. With the Pettibon Weighting System the weights are strategically placed on the body to create a desired posture correcting response. The weights make the involved muscles do isometric exercises, needed to restore their strength, endurance and balance.

Why Isometric Exercises?

Two kinds of muscle fibers make up the musculoskeletal system. One is fast-twitch muscle fiber. The other is slow-twitch muscle fiber. Muscles have both types of fibers but usually one fiber type dominates a muscle group. Our postural muscle fibers have mostly slow-twitch fiber. 

In the gym, when we’re ‘pumping iron’ and doing aerobic exercises, we’re affecting fast-twitch muscle fibers or phasic muscles. What’s happening to our postural muscles? [ Not much. So exercises to strengthen phasic muscles don’t have a big long term affect on postural improvement.

When phasic muscles fatigue and/or when they’re injured they go flaccid and collapse. Postural muscles react very differently from phasic muscles when they’re injured or fatigued: they spasm. Like sitting at a desk for an extended period and our mid back getting stiff and sore. The way postural muscles spasm is rarely symmetrical and that is why poor posture distorts our appearance and spinal alignment.

Isometric exercises, which involve pushing against a force that moves very slowly or doesn’t move at all, help eliminate postural muscle spasms as well as rehabilitate their balance, strength, and endurance.

Soft Tissue Physiology & Function

Three different types of forces can injure the spinal system: sudden applied, repetitive, and cumulative. A whiplash is the most common example of a sudden applied force. Repetitive and cumulative forces come from time dependent functions of our positions over long periods. In other words, the spine’s positions in work, play, or daily living activities like sleeping, reading, watching TV, etc can injure the spine. Understanding how soft tissues react to these forces provides the reasons why conventional chiropractic doesn’t produce permanent spine and posture correction. And more importantly, it explains why The Pettibon System does! 

Why take x-rays?

The Pettibon System starts with an x-ray examination. Seven views of the spine are routinely taken. X-rays help determine if and how you will respond to care.

The initial set of examination x-rays are compared to x-rays taken during treatment to assess progress and ultimately to prove the treatment’s success. Whether the x-rays are for diagnosis, testing, assessing progress, post-treatment evaluation and/or proof, patients are seated and the x-rays are always taken, marked, and measured the same way, every time. This ensures scientific validity.