What is the ideal spine? This question was brought to the forefront of my
mind after day one of spinal biodynamics II. It is a subluxation-free spine,
right? I think that answer is about as useful as answering Jesus to a
catechism/Bible school question. Subluxation is the aspect that a chiropractor
is trained to correct to help improve the structural integrity of the spine as
well as the overall health of an individual, but I think the
ideal/perfectly formed spine has a little more involved than simply lacking
nerve interference. I think there must be an optimal shape, curvature, dynamic
interaction between the vertebrae that optimize an individual’s ability to
function and hold an adjustment for an extended period of time.

ideal spineFor spinal dynamics, I read an article written by Dr. Don Harrison Ph.D., DC,
MSE and Tad Janik, Ph.D. along with following up work by Deed Harrison, DC. These
doctors have mathematical justification for the ideal spine as a system of
curves based on ellipsoidal arcs. They used mathematics to show that the
curves, along with the anatomy of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints, work
together to minimize stress and compression. The original 1979 article also
stresses the importance of the lordotic curve in the neck to prevent anterior
movement of the skull.


Fig 3.3 Harrison, D. (1979). The ideal normal
upright static human spine.

I find this very interesting concerning the many numbers of whiplash cases
that I have personally been involved in. I am also aware that forward head
posture is also rising in prevalence from the increase in technological use
coupled with sedentary lifestyles in America.

When correcting the spine, chiropractors have to choose how involved to
become in the process of correcting the structural loss of curvature. There are
specific chiropractic techniques, stretches, traction machinery, and spinal
decompression machinery which can more specifically address this issue;
however, doctors must keep in mind their commitment to address subluxation
first. I hope that as I continue my learning at Sherman, I will get to hear
more about my options for helping my patients function to their fullest.