Here at PICSM we are proud to be a part of a group of physicians leading the charge in changing how we diagnosis and treat spine pain. Traditional views of spinal care in American medicine revolve around the idea that the bony structures provide the stability to the spine. Hence the focus of surgical intervention is placing of rods and screws in an attempt to stabilize the spine. Unfortunately, despite 60 years of so-called “advancement” in spinal interventional surgery, outcome data is largely unchanged from the 1960’s.
Let’s imagine our spine as a large tree with the ground acting like the sacrum or base. We have all witnessed a large tree being toppled over after a wind storm, roots and all. Now imagine anchoring screws and rods to the trunk of that tree before being toppled. Would this in any way prevent a strong wind from toppling our tree? What if we attached wire cables stretched out taut at four corners, anchoring the mid portion of the tree to the ground? Although the wind storm might still break a few branches in the outermost portion of the tree, it would be unlikely to topple over our tree. So, why in medicine would we think that adding rods and screws to our spine would help stabilize our spinal structures?
The human body has built-in stabilizing wires and cables that act as our "tension elements”. Fascia is a sheet- like covering over our spine that acts like a nylon tarp. Once anchored and tensioned, this tension element called fascia acts like a taut tent. Now imagine our tent structure weathering a storm until a stake pulls out of the ground. Would your tent flap in the wind less by adding more tent poles or less by adding tension back to the loose ground stake? At PICSM we approach spine care by focusing on the tensioning elements of your spine by helping to heal torn or lax fascia. This in turn stabilizes the spine so that we treat WHY you developed back pain in the first place. Realize that the pop you heard my have been the fascia tearing and not a so-called disk.
Although this discussion is an over simplification of the spine, which is a very dynamic and complex structure, realize that here at PICSM we specialize in looking at both the tensional elements and the so-called bony (compressive) elements. By focusing on the entire system we are seeing amazing results and helping many patients that have had chronic pain for years. Make an appointment and see our difference.