Dr. Keith’s Opinions

Lets Talk Bridges

Have you ever wondered about the engineering that goes into building a bridge?  The calculations would make your head spin.  A bridge is a structure that spans an opening and the forces of traffic upon it or wind from the sides has to been redirected into the support pillars at either end or sometimes placed in the middle of the span.

The forces of tension and compression are not unlike the forces a typical human spine must deal with on a second by second basis.






Now think about the fact that the human spine is not a static structure, in other words, it moves. Constantly.  The human spine is such a wonder of engineering that it cannot be duplicated.  When movement occurs, one side contracts (shortens) as the other side relaxes (lengthens).  Any disruption in the synchronization of this contract/relax mechanism results in a movement disorder and eventual injury or even compensation (not the best solution either).  The following diagram depicts the muscles as lines and it doesn’t take much imagination to see what will happen if just one of those muscles (lines) is not working right.   Hmmm, I wonder if going to the chiropractor would be a good way to keep everything in sync.   Okay, I’ll stop being obnoxious but it is important to understand the complexity of the spine and the role that good spinal hygiene plays in overall health.

 -By Dr. Keith Gillaspy




Back Pain

A Brand new report on Yahoo.com poses the statement that “time” may be the best treatment for back pain. After reading the article, which is very critical of back surgery, I would have to agree with most of the conclusions drawn by the authors. Chiropractic has historically deferred to the body’s ability to heal itself as primary in injury recovery. It has unfortunately, also been guilty of over-treatment.

My own thoughts on this apparent dilemma are that for many years (decades even) chiropractors thought their treatments to be stabilizing, or have a stabilizing effect on the spine. This is partially true since a joint in its proper position relative to the joints around it will demonstrate increased stability in general. The problem arises due to the fact that our very nature drives us to be active and mobile. Humans like to move, most of them anyway.
We have instituted SpineSAFE training to augment the chiropractic adjustment and speed healing. In fact, the Yahoo.com article discusses a new trend of vigorous exercise to combat back pain. We are in agreement here at Gillaspy Chiropractic Center. Exercise, performed properly, can be the “wild card” in the recovery process of many back injuries.

We have focused on some new and unusual exercises and equipment to quickly build strength and stability as well as introducing a “fun” factor into the rehab process.
Check out the SpineSAFE site and you can see general examples of foam rolling, kettlebells, medicine balls, physioballs and more.


 -By Dr. Keith Gillaspy




Fitness Shoes

I’ve been asked a number of times lately about the different “curve-soled” shoes and the claim that they make you more fit and are good for your feet.  The following was recently published on Yahoo and reiterates my gut feeling on the issue.  Once you start relying on a shoe to make the action of a normal walking gait easier, you are in effect, weakening the muscles and the synchronization needed to walk normally.

-By Dr. Keith Gillaspy
Francisco Orellana/istockphoto

The Rip-Off: Reebok calls it the EasyTone; Skechers, the ShapeUp. These curved-sole shoes, transforming people into human rocking chairs, cost up to $130 and promise to keep you fit even while grocery shopping. During 2009 sales grew 14-fold to $245 million, estimates market researcher NPD. One problem: “They mostly affect the foot and ankle,” says Dr. Michael Ross, director of Rothman Institute’s Sports Performance Lab, which counts the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies and Flyers among its clients. “There is no evidence they will help you tone better or quicker than a regular shoe.”

How to Avoid It: Join a gym.

-By Christina Settimi