FAQ

Here are Dr. Pettibon’s answers to some frequently asked questions:

Why did you decide to become a chiropractor?

"While playing football in high school, I suffered a compression fracture and was in a coma. After one week, I began coming out of the coma and overheard doctors talk about someone 'who might not make it'. When I fully regained consciousness, I found out that the talk was about me. As a result of the accident, my hands, feet, and knees were painful yet numb. Our family doctor said that I was lucky to be alive and would have to learn to live with the pain and numbness. My coach sent me to a chiropractor and he gave me an adjustment. The pain and numbness went away. I was impressed. My father wanted me to be a medical doctor so after the adjustment, I told him that now I knew what my specialty would be. That's when I first learned that chiropractic wasn't a medical specialty!"

What's been your biggest bone of contention with conventional chiropractic?

"Chiropractic colleges continue to teach Diversified and toggle when research has shown that they're no more effective than a massage. They don't produce permanent spinal correction. Chiropractic philosophy explains why spinal form and function need to be corrected if they aren't normal. The philosophy is holistic. Yet the clinical procedures taught and practiced are mechanistic and segregated. They may temporarily change symptoms but won't correct the spine. What's 'pitched' and what's actually 'sold' are not the same."

How do you explain the biggest difference between The Pettibon System and conventional chiropractic to a patient?

"I don't mention or compare conventional 'pop' and 'pray' chiropractic to patients because it's not logical. Illogical theory and scientific procedures don't mix. I tell patients the truth. The truth is that they must do the rehabilitative procedures for the clinical procedures to correct their spinal form and function. People who don't agree to do the necessary rehabilitative procedures don't get accepted by me and other Pettibon practitioners as patients."

Why does The Pettibon System put so much emphasis on muscle rehabilitation, especially isometric exercise procedures?

"Spinal muscles are made up of two types of fibers: phasic and postural. Most muscles contain both types of fibers but one can be predominant within a muscle. Kinetic exercises like those used in gyms work for phasic muscles. They'll gain strength and endurance within 90 days. Postural muscles require exercising eight times longer. And they respond best to isometric exercise."

What aspect of The Pettibon System are you most proud of and why?

"The spinal soft tissue rehab procedures. Developing how to purposefully alter sensory input with the Pettibon Weighting System so patents' own nervous system produces the necessary innate re-organizing energy to permanently correct the spine and posture."

What's your assessment of CBP?

"Some joke that CBP stands for 'Compliments of Burl Pettibon'. Dr. Harrison worked for me at the time I decided to discontinue using the same procedures that CBP promotes. CBP procedures will temporarily force a lordosis into the C. spine. The procedures are very painful and according to research cause a state analogous to aging. Furthermore, in 2000, research published by Grodzinsky, Lenston, Jin, and Frank shows static compression for 2 minutes causes 7% cartilage compression and 25% compression within the first 8 minutes with up to 45% decrease in proteoglycan synthesis. Recovery after compression requires 2 hours. Here's the bottom-line: Using devices to force and hold the spine in a position is a prescription for failure. Without rehabilitating the spinal muscles' strength and endurance, no coupled motion can be achieved and the loss of lordosis returns."

How does the Wobble Chair address the aging process positively?

"'You're just getting older' is a catch-all for common musculoskeletal complaints of neck, arm, shoulder, back, and leg pain. It's a feeble explanation, especially when the pain can be eliminated and the cause of spinal dysfunction and pathology can be arrested, reversed, and prevented.

All of the chemicals and materials of normal spinal discs are present even in pathological and aged spinal discs. But spinal discs don't have their own blood supply so there has to be another way to pump the nutritious fluids into discs and then squeeze out wastes. While physical activity can create a pumping force, Vert Mooney, M.D., a world-renown researcher and orthopedic surgeon cites loading and unloading the lumbar discs as the best way to create a pumping force that produces fluid exchange. And that's exactly what the Wobble Chair does. For a strong, healthy, pain-free back at any age, we prescribe performing loading and unloading exercises with the Wobble Chair twice daily."

Can exercise balls have the same effect as the Wobble Chair?

"No! Exercise balls can cause the pelvis to be shifted from side-to-side and front-to-back but they don't allow the pelvis to wobble as needed to pump the discs. For the best results, the pivot area should be no larger than the size of the lumbar disc."

What's the biggest challenge to learning The Pettibon System?

"New ideas that can replace one's current beliefs or practices are threatening. They require change. Woodrow Wilson said, "If you want to make enemies, change something." Our profession doesn't have a reputation for embracing new ideas. Doctors, who do, find learning The Pettibon System easier than they thought because it's logical and based on science."

Chiropractic colleges continue to teach diversified and toggle when research has shown that they're no more effective than a massage