Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

May 10, 2017

Consumer Reports: Real Relief from Back Pain

WSDOTworker150x150   (How many safety features can you find on this WSDOT site photo – arguably the largest organization in the State dedicated to safety? Yet, he doesn’t bend over correctly at all.)

I keep forgetting to mention that the current issue of Consumer Reports features a cover story on back pain. It is a very good review of what most of mainstream medicine recommends, and therefore what most people are doing – the lack of effectiveness, cost, and risks associated with that approach. And it covers alternative methods of addressing back pain, the proven effectiveness (which is why it is the cover story), cost savings, and safety. All of that is old news if you have been reading this Blog long (and if you search any of the key words in this Post you will find many posts – there are over a thousand here – on that subject).

Two things are interesting to me about the article: what is right in plain sight, but missed entirely due to mindset; and how, still, the recommendations regarding how to bend and lift are erroneous – harmful even.

First, the mindset thing. Modern medicine is about treating symptoms: some will argue that but just look at what is said and what is the object of all the focus – back pain (a symptom) in this case, but it is everywhere all of the time if you look. And while they fairly accurately talk about the causes, they fail to conclude that substantially addressing these causes would be a means of preventing the symptom. Instead they point out, for example, that abnormal findings on X-rays is common among people who do not suffer with back pain. (That should be a clue, why isn’t it?)

Secondly, but related, is this whole business of correct bending and lifting technique – how could they get it so thoroughly wrong so consistently. How could they not connect the dots – remember the ‘they’ is the authoritative bodies of professional experts spewing opinions, guidelines, and recommendations (shifting gazillions of dollars within the economy)… but let’s not go down the cynical path.

I share all of this because we have a copy in the reception room – with the best parts highlighted (be me:-). Read it, but ignore the part about how to bend and lift, and talk with me about that.



March 30, 2017

A Memo On Preventing Back Pain Injury

I sent the following out just now… If you know an employer interested in preventing back injuries, please share it.



(You are getting this because either you have already shown an interest in preventing work place back injury, or there is some reason for me to belief that you might be interested.)

Last month the Annuals of Internal Medicine published the newest guidelines for the management of acute, sub-acute, and chronic low back pain (from the American College of Physicians).

You may be interested to know that Tai Chi made the list of recommendations.

Tai Chi has been referred to as “the perfect exercise”, and when researchers at the Mayo Clinic studied it in 2011, Tai Chi became their number one recommendation for Employee Wellness Programs. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School were so impressed that they wrote The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi in 2013.

I mention all of this because the epiphany that I had six years ago that I could help employers measure the risk of, and prevent, back injuries among their employees, was heavily informed by my, then, 15 years of Tai Chi practice. So far, while there has been expressed interest, my efforts to reach out have not resulted in meaningful conversations with those who have both the courage to advocate for a tested solution, and the authority to make a decision. (This is not about everyone doing Tai Chi: It is about measuring risk of back injury and then doing something about it that will measurably reduce that risk.)

My hope is that the growing impact of the problems of back pain injury (both direct costs and indirect costs) and the growing evidence of simple and efficient solutions will someday intersect with your priorities and the priorities of your employers. I would like to help, when/if that time comes.

Dennis Dilday, D.C.

Everett Chiropractic Center

Health – Naturally, through Chiropractic, Fitness & Whole-Food Nutrition

8625 Evergreen Way, #210

Everett, WA 98203

(425) 348-5207


June 30, 2015

Where To Bend When You Bend & Lift


June 18, 2015

The Importance of Sleep: It’s No Little Deal

Here is a very well-written article on the subject. The end is as good as the beginning so read the whole thing. Well, there is one thing: I don’t agree with chiropractors using supplements to achieve drug effects in the “treatment” of whatever, so the supplements recommended (except maybe the first one and the last one), I wouldn’t suggest to a patient. Here we talk about giving the body the whole food necessary for the body to do the chemistry its self rather than thinking we can do that thinking for it. If the patient can’t, won’t or doesn’t eat the recommended food, then we offer a simple supplemental solution that is the equivalent of eating 5 servings of fruits and 5 serving of vegetables each day.

June 3, 2015

Risk Factors and the Back Injury Prevention Program

I have already written Posts that introduce the concept of risk factors, and how we can turn that thinking around when we try to cause health. Prevention is about managing risk factors. Period. Eliminating a risk factor doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the condition, but it reduces the risk.

Of the list of risk factors for developing low back pain, some you can do something about, others you are stuck with. Look at this list and you will see example of both categories:

– a mentally stressful job,

– pregnancy,

– a sedentary lifestyle (if you sit all day at work, you have a sedentary lifestyle by definition),

– age (the older you are the more likely you will experience back pain – think aging work force),

– depression,

– gender (women are more likely than men to get back pain)

– obesity/overweight,

– smoking,

– strenuous physical exercise,

– strenuous physical work

(Medical News Today, December 3, 2009).

To that last one on the list ergonomists would add heavy, awkward, and/or frequent lifting.

And that list is not a complete list: the #1 predictor of developing low back pain is a history of already having lower back pain (not much you can do about that!). And close behind that is weak lower back muscles (measurable and correctable!). Poor lifting technique is another recognized risk factor (and it’s a main reason that numbers 9 and 10 above are on the list; it’s also why heavy, awkward and frequent are on the list). Poor bending and lifting technique is even easier to measure and much simpler to correct.

It’s also on the list of Certainties. We are all going to be bending and lifting off and on all day no matter what else we are doing. Doing it poorly puts us at risk; doing it well strengthens and lessons out risk of injury.

How an employee bends and lifts IS the low hanging fruit in the battle to reduce job-related injury health costs – prevent pays. Right now back injuries are the #1 job-related injury, the most expensive job-related injury, and the most disabling job-related injury. Ouch!

It is something the employer (and the employee) DO have control over and can change.

It is easy to evaluate and measure (therefore monitor).

And it is easy to change.

The Back Injury Prevention Course does all of that… in less that 2 hours.

June 2, 2015

The Back Injury Prevention Course: Certainties

I have tried to lay out the thought process behind the Back Injury Prevention Course, generally, and some of the Assumptions which I think are safe but shouldn’t stop us from attacking the issue head-on.

The assumptions shouldn’t stop us because here is what we know for certain:

All of us are going to be:

1. sitting,

2. standing,

3. walking,

4. bending & lifting and (to some extent)

5) getting up and down off the ground no matter what else we do… for a living or in our daily lives.

These basic movements when done poorly put us in serious risk of injury – to the knees, to the back, to the neck, etc. And, yes, I know that almost everyone simply assumes that they know how to sit, stand, etc., but all you have to do is look around and it becomes clear that, whether they “know” or not, the vast majority of people are not doing these basic moves well. And precisely because it’s mindless for most people, the need for mindfulness is urgent.

Our quality of movement is important. In fact it’s even more important if you are: overweight, weak, pregnant, etc., isn’t it? How much harder is it on your knees to be obese and going up stairs or getting out of your car if you break the Knee Rule?

I don’t think that the list of Assumptions means we shouldn’t do something about quality of movement; I think it’s even more important to move well.

If we are going to adopt the “industrial athlete” mentality, and I think we should, then let’s follow the example of the NFL, the NBA and most, if not all, Olympic athletes, and strive to make our quality of movement as safe and healthy as possible.

That’s what the Back Injury Prevention Course is all about.

May 29, 2015

I Was Right About The Back Injury Prevention Course

When I introduced the Back Injury Prevention Course three years ago, I promised that I could teach a course that would reduce the risk of on-the-job back injury by managing a risk factor, poor body mechanics.

Unique to any back injury prevention approach that I have been able to find, I also promised that an employer would be able to measure their risk of job-related back injuries among employees.

There is a thought process behind why I chose body mechanics, or how to bend and lift, that I will share in another Post soon, but the results so far go something like this:

Before the Course: less than 9% of the employees successfully demonstrate how to properly bend and lift by passing a screening maneuver.

After the Course: almost two-thirds (64%) successfully demonstrate how to properly bend and lift.

May 25, 2015

The Back Injury Prevention Course: Assumptions, Certainties, and Risk Factors

This Course follows an outline. There is a reasoning process, a certain logic, and considerable thought behind that outline. There is a reason for each of the Topics in the Outline so here, and with the next few Blog Posts, I intend to share the thinking and address the questions which are answered by the Outline Topics. This will give participants something to refer to, in review, after the Course, and give you some insight into why.

Why “risk factors”? Why that risk factor? Why even discuss “assumptions,” and “certainties”?

Remember, the main audience for Posts related the Course is employers. This entire effort is an attempt to help them (you) with a problem that they (you?) have: back pain injury at work. Some are stopped in their tracks by the Assumptions with no where to go, hence the sense of inevitability that we now have in many circles within industry and the healing professions. Most haven’t calculated in the Certainties because they haven’t made the connection or they think that these are uncontrollable.

I believe if we accept the Assumptions as a given, we can move on. Why? Because of the Certainties. These are going to happen no matter what.

May 21, 2015

I Was Wrong About the Back Injury Prevention Course

When I developed the Back Injury Prevention Course I declared that it could be taught (and learned) in one hour.

Now we know that it takes 90 minutes.

And given the feedback we’ve had, the participant’s preference for more activities, more practice, and more hands-on assessment, two hours is going to be the new standard.

I thought you should know so you can plan accordingly.

May 9, 2015

From Pain To Ping Pong


A recently new patient was in yesterday. He’s been seen enough times to be out of pain and he is doing the basic spine exercises regularly without problems.

So he asks if he can play tennis…

Here’s the deal. When it doesn’t hurt it’s easy to think it’s Ok. It isn’t. It wasn’t even “Ok” before it started hurting: it was dysfunctional and probably degenerating (It may already have reached the diseased state – think arthritis). Out of pain and doing basic mobility exercises is a very long was from playing tennis and getting away with it. Playing tennis (or Ping Pong) at this point is an invitation to RELAPSE.

So when it isn’t hurting is precisely the time to REHABILITATE. That means gradual progressions in activity and demand stopping at each progression to spend plenty of time so that your body responds all the way and adapts completely to the new demands.

It goes without saying (but I will say it) that a review of your body mechanics (how you move, especially bending, lifting, squatting, and getting up and down off the ground) has already been accomplished by this stage and any corrections made so that you are now “training”  (or re=training) proper movement patterns.

Sure, I know it’s hard to find help with these aspects of your RECOVERY. But if these steps are not taken, you won’t have a recovery. You will have the typical NATURAL HISTORY of back pain that most people have. You don’t want to be typical in this case.

Call if you need assistance: (425) 348-5207.

P.S. – You can use the Search box on this Blog to learn more about each of the terms in CAPS. There are almost a 1,000 Posts here and most are related in one way or another.


April 29, 2015

Talking To M.D.s About Chiropractic

Dr. Malic Slosberg presents to 500 eager docs…

December 6, 2014

Absenteeism: What are the odds?

How to guarantee that you will get back pain

How to guarantee that you will get back pain

Well according to a recent article in the journal Spine (1), there is a 22% increased chance a person will miss work if they have chronic low back pain. A person with chronic neck pain is 20% more likely to miss work on any given day than someone who doesn’t. (Saying that reminds me of a survey of 5,000 nurses, 83% of whom said that they were working with back pain at the time of the survey. That suggests a lot of “chronic” back pain among nurses anyway.)

Absenteeism is one of those “indirect costs” of back pain that is rarely calculated. When all the direct and indirect costs of back pain are factored in, back pain is #1: the most common job-related injury; the most expensive; and the most disabling.

It’s interesting that things are so bad that, for example, hospitals are required by legislation to have “policies or programs to decrease work-related injuries”. Like all the other safety regulations and risk management structure, there is a requirement to have the policy, the program, or the procedure, but no requirement to show improvement in that thing supposedly the subject of the policy: back pain injury. The prevalence of that just keeps going up. The company stays in “compliance” but when you look at how their employees move or the back injury statistics, it just keeps getting worse.

Why? I don’t know. The Risk Managers get to check off a box indicating the employee watched a video or went to a safety meeting (they’ve done their job); the safety guy/gal held a safety meeting and showed a video (they’ve done their job); the employee attended (so they have done their job).

But when it comes to back pain injury, the videos are not any good at teaching what to do. The booklets from the Department of Labor & Industries are no better (which is where employers should be able to look for leadership). So the focus is on what not to do – the physics of holding stuff too far away, etc. And… poor lifting and bending continues. Where ever in the company the pain of the cost is felt, it isn’t accessible. Because the indirect costs don’t show up anywhere as a line item, they are essentially invisible.

There is a way to move that is safer and less likely to result in injury.

There are ways of quickly, easily, and affordably evaluated how people move (so you can tell who does and who does not need training) (This is a measurement of risk!)

How to properly bend & lift (and perform other movements) can be learned and taught in a very short period of time by anyone with average intelligence, (think Safety Person at work…).

Call us at (425) 348-5207 if you or your employer would like to know how.

(1) Spine, July 1, 2014:39(15):1243-53

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: