Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Here you are… cancelling days of production, missing work, in pain, resenting your patients before they ever walk in the door, your passion for dentistry diminishing. You get the news: surgery is your only option. But how?? You went to the chiropractor every month for years. How could this happen?
The strength of any joint (including the spine) is dependent on the integrity of the surrounding musculature. The number, size and strength of the tendons, which connect the muscle to the bone, grow or shrink based on need. Said differently, when we build a muscle, the tendon attachment grows, because as the muscle gets bigger the attachment also needs to be bigger. When a muscle atrophies (shrinks) the attachment tendon also shrinks due to less “need.” What does this have to do with my injury? Bear with me for a moment, it’s worth understanding.
When a chiropractor “adjusts” a spine or joint, they realign bones that have moved out of position. The question we should be asking is HOW they got out of position?? The answer isn’t because we practice dentistry. It’s because we practice dentistry in a way that puts more load on the surrounding musculature and tendons than is available until the bones slip out of place. Supply vs demand.
Imagine a pair of yoga pants…the cheap ones. We put them on but the material is thin. After a few uses they become see through and the seams pull from strain. What happens when we start doing yoga in said pants? If we’re lucky, the seams stretch a little more and the individual fibers in the material start to break, leaving them less than supportive. What about when we keep wearing them while doing crazy yoga poses with our limbs in awkward poses for long periods of time. One day a seam starts to split – hopefully not down the middle in downward facing dog while you’re in the front row.
In this example, the yoga pants are the musculature and tendons that snuggly hold the joints and spinal column together. They are what prevent slipping discs and joints and keep us from being a pile of bones on the floor. They are meant to keep vertebrae in line, hip with femur ball in socket, etc. The quality of the yoga pants is comparable to the quality of tendon/musculature needed for joint/spinal support. Maintain or grow muscle to hold the body together and the discs/joints won’t slip (unsupported) out of place nearly as easily. Any chiropractor worth their salt will tell you that the more muscle you build, the less adjustments you are likely to need.
Our injuries will certainly recur (along with their treatment and surgeries) if we don’t address the way we approach practicing dentistry. To start, don’t do the same thing in the same way to get the same pain and injury!!! Get an ergonomic assessment to make sure you’re practicing in the most ergonomic, body friendly way, using good ergonomic equipment, build muscle to support your skeletal system to maintain neutral posture (quality yoga pants), stretch properly and often. The relief you get will save you a ton of energy, effort, investment and years of your earning career. Protect your money makers friends.
Ergonomics and fitness, it’s a lifestyle. Need help? I’m always available!