A. P. Davis, M.D., N.D., D.O.
DISLOCATION OF VERTEBRAE: THE CAUSE OF DISEASE
Dr. D. D. Palmer, of Davenport, Iowa, roundly asserts
that "pinched nerves are the cause of eighty or ninety per cent of all
diseases"; and he also asserts, and states in his journal, that nerves
which influence any part of the system emerge from the spine." That he
is mistaken in the latter expression one only has to refer to nerves which
come from the brain, end in the nasal organs, in the eyes, in the ears
and teeth, which are certainly not spinal nerves. What part of the spine
does the sixth nerve come from? What part the fourth? What part the auditory?
One only exposes his ignorance by such assertions. No science can be strengthened
by assuming too much for it, nor about it.
That there are impingements of nerves along the spine
we readily and freely grant, and know to be a fact; but to assert that
luxations, or every partial luxations, as he is wont to assert, are responsible
for nerve impingements, we most emphatically deny. And, one who ever examined
a spinal column can very readily see that to dislocate a vertebra, absolute
violence must be inflicted! When a vertebra is luxated anywhere, a paralysis
immediately ensues to all parts below the luxation, in which the nerves
coming out of the foramina below the luxation occur, and suspension of
all functions where the nerves below the part end. The most easily luxated
vertebra is said to be the fifth cervical, and it requires a direct force
to produce such a condition. Simply the deviations of contour of the spinous
processes do not prove fixations, for the bones are in no way luxated necessarily,
because the processes deviate: even in curvature there is not generally
a luxation, if ever, but simply an abnormal muscular atrophy, on the concave
side of the curve, due to primary irritation of nerve filaments ending
in that part - squeezing the blood out, lessening nutrition, and producing
permanent contraction. A condition of gradual nerve-waste goes on in the
muscular system anywhere the muscular system contracts permanently, or
for any considerable length of time, which is the condition in all cases
of spinal curvature. Contraction of muscle is a prime factor in drawing
the spinous process aside - that Palmer calls luxations. The facts prove
The very structure of the bones of the spine show
a compactness which precludes the very idea of " luxation." It is a known
fact that white cartilaginous tissue is nonelastic, and that sort
prevails in the make-up of the coverings of the spine. The white fibro-cartilaginous
tissue has the property of toughness, but not much elasticity, and between
the vertebrae there seems to be a degree of sponginess which affords a
spring-like cushion, preventing, perhaps, brain concussion in sudden movements,
as in walking and jumping.
The cartilages which hold the vertebrae together
possess a large quantity of that kind denominated white fibrous, non-elastic
constituents, and is strong enough to draw the periosteum from its attachment
before giving away, or stretching perceptibly. With that sort of tissue
on the anterior aspect of the whole spinal column and sides, and the various
fibro-cartilaginous attachments to the posterior aspect, including the
lamina and processes, with the five layers of muscular fiber and their
fascia, it would seem strange that a little contraction of a muscle, through
nerve irritation, should cause a luxation!
We are inclined to attribute the belief of spinal
luxation, or sub-luxation, to a morbid mental conception, rather than to
anything else. Hence luxations of the spine are not causes of disease.
That is an assumption without the shadow of a possibility only in cases
of positive violence.
Then how do you account for spinal adjustment? We
have no assurance of adjustment where no luxations exist, and when they
are not out. That spinal treatment results are certain and astonishing
we accord knowingly. That they are brought about by restoring luxated vertebrae
we as positively deny. There is no accounting for the theories promulgated
by Dr. Palmer. Having been familiar with his assumptions since 1899, and
knowing his peculiar bent of mind, we hesitate not to state that his "adjustment,"
as he terms it, does good; but his theories are amuck. He advocated "anchylosis"
at one time as the cause, but I have not heard of that lately. His assumptions
do not annul effects, for great good results from spinal treatment.
"THE PINCHED NERVES" - "LUXATIONS A CAUSE"
There are certain persons who are wont to believe
assertions regardless of a reason. Any sort of a reason seems to satisfy
some that a thing is so simply from the fact that it is said in connection
with a thing they do not understand. The "mysterious" always has been a
bane to human progress. Let one become fascinated with a delusion, and
there is an almost absolute suspension of reason. But one faculty in the
brain is excited; it being utterly devoid of reason and having no limitation,
carries the subject clear out into space, and generally leaves him there
alone and wrapped in hopeless delusion. Ignorance of what one’s faculties
are, and what they stand for, and what a healthful combination is, and
the results thereof, are questions but little needed by, the masses; this
has produced the "floundering" for ages, and set at naught many well-meant
A man says he "originated an idea," and if, perchance,
someone else had the same idea for years, the latter, having more combativeness
and approbativeness and executiveness, springs it upon the public as "his
own," and no reason offered, nor absolute proof, changes the idea in his
brain; and being "acquisitive" to a large degree, persistency, characteristic
of the faculties which lend support to the other faculties, holds sway,
and the fight continues. There may not be a single principle involved,
but the stubborn will hold out to the very last, despite of reason, common
sense, or truth!
Any philosophy, to be beneficial to the people,
must be reasonable, provable and simple, easy of application, effectual
in the line claimed. If every man would be honest enough to recognize the
limitations of human power, and the circumscribed limitations of human
intellect, the world would be better off. Old rubbish must be eliminated,
new thought investigated, and practical principles applied and fully demonstrated,
and be molded in the mind long enough to become fixed, then the world will
be bettered, by being filled with what tends to uplift everybody. When
men and women of matured intellects shall be the educators, instead of
young girls, and boyish urchins are eliminated from our public schools
of learning, and proper mental thoughts imbibed from mature minds, the
world will be on the road to progress.
WHAT CONDITION DO WE RELIEVE IN SPINAL TREATMENT?
Inasmuch as we deny luxations being the causes of
nerve impingements, we proceed to state the reasons for results obtained
in this peculiar treatment. That want of normal elimination of waste material
- lack of metabolism allows accumulation in the tissue, we have reasons
to believe, and that these accumulations separate nerve-end footlets, and
the accumulation presses against sensory fibers, causing pain, is doubtless
tile case in many instances. Then, as we have said elsewhere, that two
forces control the entire physical organism, the separation of the poles
of these two forces allows of an excess of either the one or the other
products of the forces to accumulate, and if an acid in excess accumulates,
irritation ensues, producing contraction of muscular or other tissue, and
pain is the result; and if the negative force predominates, a breaking
down of the tissues takes place, and hence we have boils, typhoid fever,
or any other condition which chemical changes may, produce anywhere in
the body where the end footlets of nerves are distributed.
This is verified in the fact that which we have an excess
of the positive element in the stomach, we have colic, and the treatment of
the spine, from which point emanate the nerves which end in the stomach, positively
and instantaneously stops the pain - the colic. That same kind of result takes
place in typhoid fever, diphtheria, or any other condition involved. This accounts,
rationally, for the two forces governing all action, or result of pressure,
accumulation or atrophy of muscle, spinal curvature, or whatever pathological
condition is manifested in conditions called disease. The "adjustment," as Dr.
Palmer calls it, of the spine unites these two forces, and a neutralization
of the acid and alkaline elements ensues. The stimulation resulting from treatment
increases the metabolism, and elimination of the accumulation in the parts is
dispersed, and blood is allowed to flow and nerves are freed from pressure,
and, their end-footlets united, harmony is restored at once. Every case on record
of relief is a verification of this two-force influence.