Prior Lake Chiropractor asks "Is the Spine Really a Column?" (How the 3 Little Pigs Got it Wrong)

You know the story...the pig who built the brick house was the smart one because the Big Bad Wolf couldn’t blow his house down.

When we think of a column, we may think of a Roman pillar. A pillar can be likened to a brick house, as in the story of The 3 Little Pigs.

Is the Spina a Column

There is a foundational problem with viewing the spine as a column or a brick wall though. Brick walls and columns don't have to bend down and tie their shoes. A brick house doesn’t need to put babies into car seats or bend over the sink to wash dishes.

When the spine turns into a brick-like structure or a true “column”, we have a name for this—it’s called arthritis. 

Arthritis, as we get older, leads to balance problems and stiffness and an increased risk and fear of a very real wolf:  the fear loss of coordination and balance which leads to accidental falls. 

A healthy spine is more like a tensegrity bridge (also known as tensegral or suspensory), which is more like the design of the new Saint Anthony Bridge, which replaced the one that collapsed in Minneapolis back in 2007. 

Struts and cables help the new bridge move and be flexible while being durable and light-weight.

Every bridge has it’s limits, but it would be nice to have some obvious warning signs. Sadly, the old bridge had some warning signs....but they weren't very obvious.

Thankfully, the spine’s sailboat-like assembly with many of the cables connected to the struts at the top of the head and neck will SHOW obvious signs of impending break down and when we may be at risk of giving way like a bridge.

Prior Lake Chiropractic Office Views the Spine Differently

Spinal adjustments at Prior Lake Spinal Care are likened to tuning a guitar - NOT repositioning Jenga Blocks within a confined spinal clumn.

It’s gentle and it needs to be done from the top because this is where the neurological control center is. Additionally, it’s the terminal/original point of much of our muscle and ligamentous framework.

To use a concrete layer's analogy, they Keystone's shape and position is the most important part of the archway. It's the main engineering concept behind the longevity of the Roman Coliseum and interior support structures of the Egyptian Pyramids.

At our chiropractic office, we know that palpation (feeling) of the upper neck vertebrae is totally unreliable when it comes to determining how the top two vertebrae have misaligned. (Van Roy P., Caboor D., DeBoelpaep S., Barbaix E., Clarys JP., Left-Right Asymmetries and Other Common Anatomical Variants of the First Cervical Vertebrae. Part I: Left-Right Asymmetries in C1 Vertebrae. Manipulative Therapy, 1997;
2(1):24-36 / Jende A., Peterson CK., Valididty of Static Palpation as an Indicator of Atlas Transverse Process Asymmetry. European Journal of Chiropractic, 1997; 45:35-42)

Just like a Keystone, effectively adjusting the top vertebrae in the neck requires an intimate knowledge of the shapes of the joint structures even before considering they may have misaligned and need to be re-aligned. This is "key" when it comes to delivering the most STABLE spinal adjustment possible.

To learn more about the chiropractic methodology at Prior Lake Spinal Care, please visit the NUCCA website here or the Upper Cervical Awareness website here.

To set up a free consultation over the phone or in person with Dr. Pietrek, please visit our contact page here.


The best way to schedule an appointment is to use our 
online booking system, or call us on 952-444-6030.

Our passion is to serve you and your loved ones! Dr. James Pietrek and his team are here to assist you in reaching your goals. Enhance your quality of life with us!
8734 Egan Drive
Savage, MN 55378
Monday - Friday
9:00am - 12:00nn and 3:00pm - 6:00pm
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