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Why do I have Osteoarthritis? What is Wolff's Law?

Spinal Biomechanical Engineering Analysis

Trauma-trained Chiropractors understand how the spine moves and changes based upon how gravity bears through vital structures of the musculoskeletal system. This is true in a typical lifestyle environment as well as in cases of personal injury. When a doctor is able to visualize and explain why certain forces are transmitted from one area to the next in a clear and concise way during a spinal examination, it can foster confidence and hope in taking direct action steps to relieve pain and correct abnormal patterns. If the brain is receiving input from pain sensors and takes measures to avoid pain through muscle activation and compensated positioning, problems with predictably follow. It just makes sense!


Educational tidbit - Wolff's Law: A law stating that bone density changes in response to changes in the functional forces on the bone. Wolff (1836–1902) proposed that changes in the form and function of bones, or changes in function alone, are followed by changes in the internal structure and shape of the bone in accordance with mathematical laws. (Wolff's law - Oxford Reference)


If forces are transmitted abnormally through bones, joints, and muscles, structures not designed to take on too much or too little stress will eventually react and remodel accordingly. Thus, arthritis, bone spurs, osteoporosis, disc degeneration, and other effects are the result.


Medically, if there is not an easily-seen anatomic or pathologic problem, it is often diagnosed as "non-specific" back pain. However, as the research from biomechanical engineering studies is finally reaching the clinical setting, we are finding more and more that back pain is actually "very specific" in a functional or biomechanical way not always seen clearly on traditional diagnostic imaging. With the proper training, tools and diagnostics, examination, patient feedback, and diagnosis, we can collaborate and manage spinal conditions to better address a major public health issue and get to the bottom on an often overlooked problem! Check out my blog HERE for more info on this topic.



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