Dr. Philip Schalow
You went to someone who seemed like a well-trained, knowledgeable professional in the field. You maybe had some unpleasant symptoms like numbness in the leg, back pain, and even inability to lift the leg. The professional did some type of study, and then pronounced that you had an incurable disease. What would you do?
In this case, the “professional” pronounced the disease as stenosis, which describes some physical findings in the joints of the spine. It means “narrowing.” Stenosis of the spinal canal can be caused by the body forming calcium deposits inside the spinal column. These spurs will push on the spinal cord. It tends to occur in certain groups, such as Japanese men, but can happen to anyone. This type is not easy to deal with since it is inside the canal. But there is another kind of stenosis. Most of the time, people are given this diagnosis when the stenosis is only happening outside the spinal canal, on the edge of the “window” through which the spinal nerves exit. When this is the case, the narrowing can be the result of lots of fat in the region, a disc bulging and pressing on the nerve root, or even the spinal segment sitting incorrectly on its neighbor. In these cases, the conditions that produced the symptoms are very simple to correct, at least for a chiropractor. When those conditions are removed, do you think the body can heal?
Most of the cases of stenosis that are seen in an upper cervical NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) practice originate with the one major stenosis that few doctors know how to identify. It is called the atlas subluxation complex, and it consists of a narrowing of the spinal canal that is the result of a misalignment of the atlas from its normal position under the skull. When this occurs, it disturbs the axis of rotation of all the spinal segments, forcing some joints lower in the spine to pinch on the edges. That is the pinching so often seen on the MRI study and diagnosed as “stenosis.” It is not an incorrect diagnosis, just an incorrect prognosis. It is not the end of the story, but should stimulate further study into why the spine is behaving that way.
NUCCA is a branch of chiropractic that seeks to identify and precisely correct the atlas subluxation complex. Recent medical research into this work has revealed that high blood pressure can normalize in subjects who receive this correction. These are people who have no pain or other symptoms, aside from the neurologic signs of the atlas subluxation complex. When the atlas subluxation complex is present, it interferes with normal brain controls over all systems of the body. As you can imagine, that means anything can happen that you don’t want to happen. Vision, speech, swallowing, hand control, digestion, hip and knee function, reproductive function, all require nerves to bring the right impulses from the brain. Symptoms such as foot pain, leg pain and numbness, back and arm pain or muscle spasms, headaches, hearing problems have vanished when the atlas subluxation complex is corrected.
Given this information, do you think it is appropriate for any doctor to declare a prognosis that “You are not curable!”? Would it be more accurate to state, “I cannot help you with this, but you may want to try another professional in one of the other health care fields”?
Louella Harris was given the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She went to an upper cervical doctor, got the major stenosis corrected that was pinching her spinal cord in the neck, and she got better. She formed the National Awareness Campaign for Upper Cervical Care that exists to spread the word about this specialty.
James Tomasi was suffering from trigeminal neuralgia and ready to commit suicide. His wife took him to an upper cervical doctor, who corrected the atlas subluxation complex. He got better and decided to live. Then, he formed the International Upper Cervical Patient Advocate Association that exists to spread the word of hope about this unique type of health care.
The person who was given this diagnosis and prognosis of “incurable” did not listen. Lucky for her, she found her way to my office last week. Normal function returned to her limbs within two weeks. How many people have the same drive to do that? How many people are given a hopeless diagnosis and then give up?
Dr. Philip Schalow is the owner of 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., Rockford’s only NUCCA practice that uses approved equipment and procedures to correct the atlas subluxation complex. Visit www.myrockfordchiropractor.com or contact the office at 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107, via phone at (815) 398-4500.
From the November 4-10, 2009 issue