His study was done largely using rabbits. He would immobilize their hip joints to varying degrees. No it doesn’t sound pleasant to be a rabbit in his lab! Yes it does get worse for the nose-twitching rodents. After a predetermined period of time he would sacrifice the rabbit, remove the hip joint, section it and look at it under electron microscope. What he found was astounding! Videman discovered that reducing the hip joint motion by just 50% for a period of a mere 2 weeks resulted in, using Videman’s words, “permanent and irreversible” damage to the cartilage surface of the joint. Keep in mind that the cartilage is the hard and smooth as glass liner between nearly every joint in the body.
When I first read this I wondered, “So what about when we cast a broken bone immobilizing for 6 weeks?” Yep, this means that you will have permanent and irreversible damage to the cartilage of that joint too, but Videman’s study also concluded that if you restore the joint motion back to normal, the degeneration process will be stopped. So if you wore a cast when you were a kid, not to worry, the amount of damage may technically be measureable, but is infinitesimal and inconsequential.
When the orthopedic surgeons looked at his study, a revolution occurred. Today, if you have joint surgery on a Monday, with rare exception, you will be moving that joint by Tuesday. As a result your chances of developing arthritis in that joint later in life is much much reduced.
A much quieter revolution happened at the same time in chiropractic circles. Our main job is to restore motion to your spinal joints, right? We use the adjustments to do this. In my office we also use the disc-pump exercises to maintain that motion. The question is how often should we do the adjustments? How often should we do the exercises? It’s actually much more complicated than a shoulder or hip surgery that involves a single joint. Your spine has 76 joints in it, not including the 72 joints that hold your rib cage to your spine. And I can only adjust maybe 3-6 vertebrae on any given office visit. Videman says we have two weeks before permanent and irreversible degeneration kicks in. If you were faced with this data, how often would you want to be checked and adjusted? Yearly? Monthly? Every 2 weeks? Weekly? More often?
So we reserve 4 times per week for acute fresh injuries. 3 times per week for intensive care. 2 times per week for reconstruction. Once per week for ongoing wellness. Based upon the above data getting adjusted less than weekly just does not make sense. You, of course, can do whatever you want, but now you know “Why Weekly?”