Wolff’s Law, Degenerative Joint Disease and Your Health

For those that know me, you know that I love the original Star Trek movies.  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is my favorite of all the Star Trek movies.  I own the set on Blu-ray and while watching The Undiscovered Country, Spock says a really good quote, “Even logic must give way to physics”.

Wow, that’s perfect for this article called Wolff’s Law.  To be brief, Julius Wolff was a German surgeon who realized that bone adapts to the stresses placed upon it.  This is one way how archeologists can determine what type of lifestyle a person lived by looking at the bones of a person who died thousands of years ago.

So how does this affect you today?  Arthritis, or to be more specific osteoarthritis (OA).  OA affects millions of Americans and most likely either you or someone you know is affected by this “disease”.  Approximately 30% of all baby boomers have been diagnosed with OA.   It has other names also such as Degenerative joint disease or DJD.  I put disease in quotes because I believe that OA/DJD is a process more so than a disease, just like cavities could be called Degenerative Tooth Disease but we know that if you take precaution and be proactive, that we can prevent cavities.

 Can you prevent Osteoarthritis?  I believe you can.  Simply put weight bearing problems accelerate this process which I will go into more detail in my article called Text Neck. Below is the effect of Wolff’s Law on an amputee, ten years later.  The left leg was amputated due to Osteosarcoma.



As you can see the left leg bone has wasted away but the right side is very strong (more white=more bone density).


A closer side by side comparison.   Again to summarize, Wolff’s Law effects on the right leg is more bone growth and one the left leg is bone mineral loss.

 Your Grand Rapids Chiropractor,

Dr. S