Episode 022 — Turn Right at the Spine

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Title: Turn Right at the Spine

Episode Number: 022

Host: Dr. Thomas Lamar

Show Date: 08/27/2010

Run Time: 39:52

Description:  The American road trip is full of adventure and oftentimes will include diversions to one-of-a-kind roadside attractions.  Join Dr. Lamar as he interviews Dr. David T. Ryan — a chiropractor from Columbus, Ohio, who turned the unfortunate circumstance of an infested maple tree in front of his office into not only a roadside attraction, but a landmark for Chiropractic.

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Dr. David T. Ryan

…An Extraordinary Chiropractor Who Did An Extraordinary Thing!

David T. Ryan, D.C. and his Chiropractic Landmark

Columbus, Ohio…. home of the Enormous Human Spine Wood Carving

Quick Facts

Location: 6040 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, Ohio
Height: 25 feet
Statue Material: Wood, Paint, and Urethane
Chainsaw Carver:  Jack Cantley
Tree to Spine Time:  2 weeks
Unveiling Date:  April 2010
Tree:  Silver Maple
Name Given:  “Palmer”
Number of Veretebrae: 24

“Dedicated to All Chiropractors and Their Patients Everywhere.”

• Websites Mentioned by Dr. Ryan

DrDavidRyan.com (his office website)

Bodybuilder.com (health articles authored by him)

HeadBlade.com (he’s an official “Headbladder”)

That Car Next to That Spine — plus look at the detail of this picture.

Dynamic Chiropractic Article on his Spine Statue

• RoadsideAmerica.com — the Guide to Off Beat Tourist Attractions

Take a Virtual Road Trip with Google



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Spinal Column Radio, episode number twenty-two.

Coming up next on Spinal Column Radio –Turn Right at the Spine.


[intro theme music]

And welcome back to another exciting and information packed episode of Spinal Column Radio.  My name is Dr. Thomas Lamar, chiropractor and Dad of 6.   And this is the podcast that gets you to think.  To think about your health in a whole new way.  We’re the podcast for your backbone… the podcast with backbone.  Who knew that spinal education could be this much fun?

We’d like to invite you to visit our podcast website at SpinalColumnRadio.com where you can learn more about us, check out our world-renowned “What’s a Podcast?” page, and can access the show notes for this episode.  Also, we encourage you to leave comments and ask questions through our website, or, if you prefer, you can email me using DrLamar AT SpinalColumnRadio DOT com.


[transitional sound effect]

Everyone loves a good road trip.

Road trips are an integral part of the “American Experience.”  I mean they are right up there with hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie.  They are a chance to slow down and experience the roads less traveled…. taking in the often overlooked details of sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch that make this nation one-of-a-kind. And what would a memorable road trip be without the occasional diversion to witness quirky roadside landmarks and must-see oddball tourist attractions such as the World’s Largest Frying Pan in Long Beach, Washington; The Giant Milk Can Ice Cream Shop in Denver, Colorado;  or The Giant, 20 ft Artichoke in Castroville, California, or perhaps The Enormous Hammer in Haines, Alaska, or  The Dixie Cup Water Tower in Lexington, Kentucky?

….Or what about the Gigantic, larger than life, Human Spine that now resides in Columbus, Ohio?

Haven’t heard of that one?  Well, today’s your lucky day.  Because, recently I had the chance to get the “back story”– so to speak —  on the vertebral tower that now adorns Cleveland Avenue, from the chiropractor behind it all…. Chiropractor, Dr. David T. Ryan.  And, ironically our telephone conversation caught him right in the middle of … well, you guessed it… a road trip.


[transitional sound effect]

Dr. Lamar: Well, joining me on SpinalColumnRadio today from his cell phone as he travels north on Interstate 95, just outside of Miami, en route to his office in Columbus, Ohio, is chiropractor Dr. David T. Ryan.  Dr. Ryan is a 1988 graduate of the Palmer College of Chiropractic.  He has an extensive background in both coaching and playing professional sports, and has been the team physician for several highly ranked teams. Currently he is the Medical Director and Co-Chairman of the Arnold Classic Fitness Weekend, and  he is a former Mr. World title holder…. and even though he will tell you that he’s older than dirt, he’s still one buff dude.

Dr. Ryan, welcome to SpinalColumnRadio!

Dr. Ryan: Thank you, glad to be here.  Thanks for everybody who’s listening and tuning in.

Dr. L: Well, you’re on a little of a road trip yourself right now… How’s the drive going?

Dr. R: Well, we’re doing fine. Hopefully the rain doesn’t start up and slow us down too much. The vision isn’t quite what it used to be.

Dr. L: You know, without a doubt, we could certainly talk about your various achievements with chiropractic in the sports arena — both as a doctor and as an athlete — but today you’re on the program for an entirely different reason. You know, not too long ago…

Dr. R: Thank God.

Dr. L: …not too long ago something happened at your Columbus, Ohio chiropractic office that sits at 6040 Cleveland Avenue. And it involved a rather large maple tree. Why don’t you pick up the story from there?

Dr. R: Well, I had a patient who knew a lot about the care and treatment of trees — [he] worked for the state as a matter of fact. And [he] indicated to me that one of my large silver maples that was out in the front… we had ants moving in and out of the bottom like a free Vegas buffet. And so I indicated to him… I said, listen what do you think is the terminal part of that? He said “1 to 2 years if you let them keep going on to that. You’re going to need to get that thing out of there.” So, one of my patients stepped in and said, “You know I’ll be happy to take that tree down for you but would you rather get it carved into something?” And I had always wanted to have a spine out front. At one point I thought well I’m going to take and put my mailbox and I had… was going to take different sized piston heads and weld them together and make a spine out of that and just something to put my mailbox on. And so the thought had occurred to me. I said well what’s it going to cost to take the thing down and anyone messing around with trees knows they’re pretty expensive. It’s about $2,000 to take the tree down. Somewhere between $1,500-2,000. I said well what is it going to cost to get the thing carved into the shape of a spine? So the fellow looked at it and looked at the shape of a spine and said, “It’s probably about $500 more to do it that way because we don’t have to take the whole tree down.” Well that was a no brainer.

Dr. L: Yeah!

Dr. R: And so we went ahead and started during the winter month, if you would, of February/March, in Ohio it’s still snowing. And that started the whole process and the fellow came out and working with a team took off the top part of the tree, took off all of the, you know, wide side branches. And determined which way that it was going to go and they rough cut it — is what they called it — and he put his scaffolding up the sides and the scaffolding rose up close to 25 feet in the air. And I was gone during the weekend when they were actually doing that. I was actually back down here in Miami collecting the fiancé. And going through some of the winter month stuff there. And then I turned around and stepped into the idea of saying ok well what do you guys have done and such? But when I came back they had the bottom of the occiput, the atlas, and probably the first, second, third vertebrae already done. And we were going to do this originally in the sense of just something very modern, very iconic looking… and as the guy got into it he asked me for one of the basic common spines that all of us chiropractors have in our office to use as a model. Well, needless to say, it’s amazing to watch the guy work and he has about 6 different chain saws, all different sizes, all different types of edging on them and such, and they all do different types of cutting. And his detail that he was getting on this was remarkable. And it’s quite amazing. And as many people may have seen it was even put in Dynamic Chiropractic. So, from that perspective as he was coming down through it we were talking about you know bearing loads and where this spinal segment should be in respect to some other ones and talking to him about that. We spent, probably about 2 hours worth on anatomy just trying to put this thing together. I mean we would have to stop him every once in a while to say, “Well this is going this way too much and that way…” And it eventually got to the point where I realize this spine was not going to be perfect and I was fine with that. Because who walks into our office with a perfect spine anyway?

Dr. L: That’s true, so basically…

Dr. R: So, from that perspective… go head.

Dr. L: Basically, you are in a sense adjusting the spine as it’s being formed right there in front of your…

Dr. R: Exactly! You could say that. Yeah but with a chain saw I don’t necessarily…

Dr. L: Well at least you’re giving guidance to the chain saw carver. So, I just want to kind of…

Dr. R: Exactly. Well it’s certainly going to throw the soft tissue technique right out the window. But…

Dr. L: Let me just…

Dr. R: …from that point it definitely would be more of a Gonstead approach and so all the people who understand chiropractic are all laughing at this point. So, from that perspective it’s a matter of saying that we got that and you know it was really just a point of you know his own artistic ability to bring that out in the wood and as he came down because he didn’t want to put the scaffolding back up, he would paint and put urethane over the top of the wood itself… and as he came down it became very apparent ….and you know through that some of the… I don’t know if you’re going to have links to the pictures and stuff like that… but it obviously comes out and it’s very very hard looking and very shiny looking. A lot of people, even to this day, think that what I’ve done is purchased a plastic spine that was manufactured somewhere and anchored it into the top of the tree stump. And I asked him, I said “Listen, at the bottom, I want you to do a sloppy job of painting. I want you to make sure that you leave some parts unpainted and just urethane over top of them because I want people to understand that this is really wood.”

Dr. L: It is.

Dr. R: Because the silver maple itself had lived for whatever number of years, 40 years. And I just don’t like cutting trees down — especially trees that are still blooming leaves and such… but at the same point I knew that if I didn’t get it cut down it was going to end up on the roof of the clinic. And so from that perspective, you know, we did that. And so if you look at it very closely you can see that it is completely wood. I even have a few pictures of the spine that show bigger parts of the lumbar area, and stuff like that, that are unpainted so you can see some of that. But at the same point, at this point, most people are stepping in and they can’t even believe …And I have to laugh at the number of people who are “paid observers” such as sergeants from the local police department that will come in and I’ll say, “What do you think of the spine?” And they’re like, “What spine?” And knowing that it’s, you know, standing outside at 25 feet up in the air… you just kind of roll your eyes at him wondering what else they’re missing on the job.

Dr. L: Let me just interrupt for a minute here.

Dr. R: Go ahead.

Dr. L: So, basically you had a tree that had to come down. And it’s unfortunate but it was a liability… but instead of providing yourself with a cord of wood you provided the chiropractic profession with a landmark. And I want to encourage everyone…

Dr. R: Oh absolutely…

Dr. L: I want to encourage everyone, if you are not already there, go to our show notes at SpinalColumnRadio.com and check this thing out. This is something that you just need to see. Because just talking about it here and listening on your iPod, or whatever…  it just doesn’t do it justice. This is truly stunning.

Dr. R: Well I know that, you know, from that perspective certain people in the artistic community have stepped up to me and said this is fantastic. This is amazing. And they want to know what the statue is called. I had no name for it at that point and since then I have basically called it “Palmer.” From that perspective I’ve dedicated it to all the chiropractors and all the chiropractic patients that are out there, relative to that issue. All the things that I’ve ever done over the years, the sports and such, I try not to self-glorify. I mean, being a Christian man I do everything in the glory of God. But, relative to those issues, I think it’s important that we glorify each as within our profession. And so I think it’s important that, you know, all the chiropractors realize, and chiropractic patients realize, this is something for them. And I would encourage anyone who is a chiropractor once you see it you’re welcome to travel to the area. You’re welcome to have someone take a picture of you and I would tell you that a fantastic picture to do is have someone down below your shoulder level with that tree behind you and you’re in your white jacket and that tree is coming up out of the back scenery behind you and it makes a very majestic shot.

Dr. L: I bet.

Dr. R: And… you know, anyone is welcome in for that.

Dr. L: Fantastic. What’s the height of this spine?

Dr. R: I do believe that it’s 25 feet. I’m going to have to do a little trigonometry to figure out exactly what the height of it is. But I do believe that it’s up at 25 feet at this point.

Dr. L: I bet. You know this has got to be the world’s largest human spine carving or statue. Does the Guinness Book of World Records know about this?

Dr. R: Not yet, no. But that’ll be something that I’m sure we’ll work on down the road…

Dr. L: Yeah! We need to put that on your “to do list”. I’m writing it down for you right now.

Dr. R: Absolutely.

Dr. L: Note to self.

Dr. R: I’ll put that right in front of the “Honey Do List”…

Dr. L: Yeah.

Dr. R: …from the fiancé. I’m not sure how it’s going to go over but I’ll let you know.

Dr. L: Right. So, now we’ve talked about the carver for a little bit already but what… do you want to give his name?

Dr. R: Sure! It’s Jack Cantly… Jack Cantly. He is actually an electrical worker and unfortunately because of the economy was out of work and luckily we were able to provide him with work for a period of about 2 weeks.  And he actually got called off of my job, doing the tree, because he was actually going to finish and do the sacral base area and do the posterior part of the sacrum and he had to stop. So, he had to go back and work at Children’s Hospital. They were building on additional wings and stuff like that of the hospital there. From that prospective he left my job to go back into work. And I felt great about being able to contribute to that. But he has worked on several different things. He came in originally and showed me some of the things he did and it was amazing. He did the face of Abraham Lincoln. Now I should say that it’s not only the face but the head of Abraham Lincoln. And you could tell it was Abraham Lincoln. And it wasn’t sort of like you had to skew your eye to one side and tilt your head or anything. I mean, it was very well done. And another thing he had done is a tree kind of split off and he had done a sign for someone who had their own hair… it wasn’t, it’s not a barber shop… for a women it’s a beautician. It was a large pair of scissors. And they were, you know, just amazing and it was carved into the side of the stump. You know that it was I think it was Suzy Shear Shop or something like that. So, from that perspective, you know he really had done I think very well but at this point obviously he looked at the spine as his best work that he has done.

Dr. L: I think it’s great.

Dr. R: I think he’s very proud of it at this point.

Dr. L: As he should be. You kind of maybe alluded to it, but how long did it take to go from tree to spine?

Dr. R: It took him about 2 weeks. I was pretty surprised with how quick…. and I was somewhat nervous that other people would have some problems with it. Of course the City came along and you know we went through that little discussion about how far back off the road it was and relative to those issues you know it was considered “yard art.” So we didn’t have a problem with that. But they decided to somehow seek their vengeance on me so they posed a $300 fee for me to upgrade the lighting on my sign. And I said, that’s fine and while I do that, which you know through the variances, I was allowed to go ahead and get my lights ready and put them up on the spine itself and so that’s where we’re at. We went ahead and put 500 watts on each side to light it up at night. And the other stuff that we’re going to take past that is I wanted to try to have some type of a blinking, red, pulsating light that would be in the area of the disc.

Dr. L: Classic!

Dr. R: … I’m still working on that issue. But on L3, which I realize doesn’t herniate that much, but it still looks good.

Dr. L: It looks good for the spine statue, yeah.

Dr. R: I want to have it on there and I kept asking him… one of my patients is one of my physics professors from Ohio State University and is Dr. Bolen. And I said, “Dr. Bolen can you get one of the students to make it?” “Well…” he says, “they are all on break.” Oddly enough one of the mechanics came up with the idea. “Why don’t you just use a turn signal resister because that basically is going to give you a pulsating light?” And then one of the other guys who specializes in car audio and such said “You should use LEDs because then that way it will light up but it’s not going to throw the light anywhere. It’s just going to be something simple.” So, that is what we are going to do and it will all go off at night and it’s going to show… you know, it will show off so it will look like that L3 area is in pain. We’ll either do it at L3 or L4.  And so from that perspective, that’s what is coming in the future.

Dr. L: Wow! And maybe you could even have it timing so like every hour for 10 minutes it’s in pain and then it’s good.

Dr. R: Well, I don’t necessarily want to say I want to start up in having my own thing like the Bellagio. I’m not sure if I want to do anything long those [lines]…. I’ve had a lot of people… “You should have LEDs all the way up and down and have it pulsate to music!” And I’m like…

Dr. L: Ok.

Dr. R: … I think we’ve got enough light on there and enough attention as it is. I’m not really worried about attracting too many people to the point where it becomes a neighborhood possession instead of a neighborhood interest. So… but everyone, you know seemed to be very good with it.

Dr. L: What are…

Dr. R: … the dentist across the street who, oddly enough, I was worried about you know it making too much noise. And I had to laugh because that dentist is also a patient of mine and he said, “Nah! The patients love it. And we think it’s great because when the chain saw is running they don’t hear the drill going into them.”

Dr. L: I was going to ask you about the dentist across the street and as to whether or not it’ll created any sort of competitiveness, or so…. like he wants to get a giant tooth?

Dr. R: Well, he’s pretty much already conceded to the idea that he wanted to take one of the bushes out there, and he’s thinking maybe I can trim that bush so it looks like a big molar. And I told him I said I don’t think it really is going to, you know, matter. But yeah, he is trying to figure out what he can do to come back with an icon across the street because certainly it has captured a lot of people’s attention at this point. There is a local fellow…

Dr. L: It would be pretty…

Dr. R: There is a local fellow in town who has this car that has all these baby dolls glued all over it and it’s called “That Car” because everybody goes “Hey look at That Car!” And I guess it’s some type of hierarchy because this gentleman has now posted me on his website because he pulled into the parking lot and took a picture of “That Car next to That Spine.” So, there you go! I’ve come into the artistic clad, if you would…

Dr. L: You are coming along just…

Dr. R: … and make my statement.

Dr. L: … beautifully. You know it would be pretty funny if your neighbor dentist across the street did something because then you guys could start to create this section of Cleveland Avenue that would soon be known for being like the “Avenue of Medical Oddities.”

Dr. R: Right. Well, oddly enough down the street, probably about three doors, is an attorney… and he wanted to get a turtle carved into one of his trees. And I said “A turtle?” I said, “Why don’t you go with a gavel?” Well his eyes got real big and he’s like… he looked at Jack Cantly and said, “Can you do that?” He said, “Absolutely!” He said, “We can just put a gavel and the thing that it hits there.” And he said, “Oh! The pallet, that would be great! That would be perfect!” So, I’m not exactly sure when that’s up but…

Dr. L: Oh boy!

Dr. R: I think that may be one of the things that’s coming down and the tree may come down and turn into a gavel at some point. So, it’ll probably be something that you can travel down Cleveland Avenue off of 270 on the north end and just see the mirage of different carvings.

Dr. L: Oh boy!

Dr. R: I just couldn’t even tell you! What else is down the street there that… there is an optical person down there and there is also a podiatrist. Which…

Dr. L: Uh oh!

Dr. R: … actually, their sign they’ve got the outline of the shadow of a couple feet sticking out. So, I would assume we are going to have all kinds of icons at that point.

Dr. L: Oh, the possibilities!

Dr. R: Yeah, yeah…

Dr. L: You’re going to keep that chain saw carver in business.

Dr. R: Well, needless to say you know… you do. You’ve got to think “outside the box.” And I don’t mind telling you, you know a lot of people would say you know, “What’s it done?” And I have to be honest with you, you know the patients themselves really like it. I went ahead and purchased the well known chiropractic spinal key chains and purchased a whole lot of those. And passed them out to everybody just as kind of an opening gift you know relative to those people that are out. Most of them making comments about it. And it was overnight! I have to be honest with you, you know, we are feeling the suffering of the economy and everything else and I have to be honest you and tell you… since that spine was put in, since we passed those out, we are really at capacity as far as the number of patients that I can take. There are days when I am taking in 6 new patients at a time. And I can only say that it has really been a blessing, you know from that point…

Dr. L: Unbelievable! Wow! That just blows away any practice management gurus.

Dr. R: Yeah!

Dr. L: That’s amazing!

Dr. R: I mean, and you know, who would ever think, you know and anyone who is in the business world comes in and they have just got nothing but adoring comments to say about it. So about the only thing I’ve ever had negative was from a friend of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon, specializes in foot and ankle, and he asked me if I was from West Virginia. And I said no but I have a lot of West Virginian patients, and they like it.

Dr. L: We’ve talked about professionals and just as, I think, business people in general appreciate it because you are thinking “outside of the box.”  But I also noticed that you practice right along the skirt of a neighborhood there. What do your neighbors think?

Dr. R: You know, they love the idea. I’ve got a couple patients down that street that are wood workers, specifically. The one guy brought me a pen, one time, that he carved out of sarsaparilla. And I was just amazed, and I loved the pen and he gave it to me a long time ago.  Still have it, but at the same point, most of them really like it because it has become an icon so they can tell people like “You come down the street you are going to see a 25 foot spine sticking up out of the ground. And so at that you are going to turn right at the next street.”

Dr. L: Exactly! Yes!

Dr. R:  I had a problem before where trying to tell people where we live. Well, we are not in  a bad area in any way, shape, or form but there happens to be a strip club — a gentlemen’s club– that is probably I want to say maybe a tenth of a mile up the road on the same side. And unfortunately it’s lit up with neon and everything else. And so we tell people “Look, you know where this place is… “ They come on down. And it is such a relief not to be able to have to refer to that place anymore. And just say, you know you come down and you can see this… And I know that I have gotten back feed from some of the people in the neighborhood that have kind of acclaimed the same type of iconic landmark directional ability. And saying “Yeah that’s what we tell people what to look for and they can turn.” So, it’s one of those weird streets because the street going east is called one thing and the street west is called something else. And so that’s enough to drive you crazy right there. So, it’s really easy for the people to kind of orientate to it. And I’ve, over the years, tried to do things too to build community awareness. We’ve had like plant exchanges and such so, you know I end up having a lot of garden interest in our area. And so I’ve got different people that are helping take care of my gardens out front. And I’ve got a waterfall out front and such like that. Needless to say I’ve got plenty of extras as the years have come and so I cut those and taken… allow people in the neighborhood to come over and get things and such. And so whether they are a patient or not, there’s reaching out to the community and doing things for them. You know, that’s really bred a lot of happiness and good community involvement from that perspective. And so, I think this was something that they all know where my heart is so they took to it really well. I haven’t really heard anything negative from anybody about it. And I’ve got  to be honest and tell you too that local chiropractors are all really happy about it. I think the way that it’s presented in that sense of you know it’s not just for me. It happens to be in front of my office but needless to say they realize that it’s something in the whole process to you know make people conscious of chiropractic and conscious of the spine. And from that perspective I think they all realize there’s a spin on that that gives them some type of benefit.

Dr. L: Oh I got to tell you that this chiropractor up here in the Pacific Northwest is very happy about it too. I think it’s fantastic! Hey you know, you’re traveling today and you probably have you know your maps and everything. But, you know, AAA needs to put you in their travel destination guide. Because this ranks right up there with the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Darwin, Minnessota.

Dr. R: I think we’re going to have to try to work on that. I know that there is some story about a little boy  and you do something working on literacy with kids. And so they had this flat little boy [Flat Stanley] who apparently was ran over by a steamroller. I’m not exactly sure of the name of that story. But, you know, in my office that thing sits right out front and I’ve got a big palladian window that looks right out at it. And I look out there one day and there’s these people and they are standing next to this little cardboard character that he somehow… the idea of this character is that you fold him up, you send him to all of your different relatives. And they go around to different interesting things in their city…

Dr. L: Oh yeah!

Dr. R: … and they hold this thing up by it. And needless to say, I look out there in the front and there’s someone holding a cardboard little character of the little boy up on my spine.

Dr. L: Of course! Yes!

Dr. R: Can I help you? And this guy starts telling me this story and I said, “Well that’s great! Let me hold it. And I’ll stand there, you know, and point to the spine or something.” So, I ended up in this story and the idea is that it helps the child to read and learn more about their own family and their relatives and I thought it was an ingenious idea. So, I’ve at least hit some people’s capability there. But, yeah I think this is something that… like I said, it definitely is going to be you know very impressive. And I think, God forbid anything ever happen to me… I have to move from this location. I’m either taking that spine with me or I’ll send it back to Davenport and make sure they erect the thing up in front of over there on Brady Street by the museum so…

Dr. L: That would be very appropriate, yeah.

Dr. R: We’ll make sure that it lives one way or the other through the whole thing.

Dr. L: At the very least, I think we need to let the people over at RoadsideAmerica.com know about you because they have a website that reports on quirky museums, ironic monuments, and must-see oddities like a gigantic human spine, for example, all across our great nation.

Dr. R: Well, I’ll tell you what. That’s a great idea. And if you send me the link to that I’ll make sure we send them great photos and…

Dr. L: I’m putting it on my to-do list for you right now. We’ve got Guinness Book of World Records… and Roadside America.

Dr. R: Absolutely… we will take a picture with Roadside America, some kind of a sign out there for them. It helps promote what they are doing as well.

Dr. L: I have a feeling that you are going to see a lot of people slowing down and you know more pictures being taken out in front of your office. I think it’s just great.

Dr. R: Well, this is a true story… We’ve been there ten years now, at that location. I moved out of a very large office building, downsizing. I used to run about six offices in the Columbus area,  and I just downsized to myself, semiretired if you would. And there have been a couple of accidents out front that… there usually aren’t accidents out front. And every time I run out there I’m trying to figure out exactly what’s going on because I don’t want the dude to say “I was looking at the spine! and I missed my…” [laughs]

Dr. L: Here’s my card by the way!

Dr. R: Yeah, luckily I would say this is sort of like the artificial sweeteners. You know, I’m getting blamed for something that just happened to be coincidental because honestly both individuals were texting. And so needless to say I think it’s just the advent of texting and such is really what shows the coincidence of the entire situation and so I am proud to say that it’s not my spine in either case. So, it’s not my fault. Leave me alone!

Dr. L: Well Dr. Ryan do you have any final thoughts? We’ve talked about a lot so far.

Dr. R: No, I really just would suggest that everyone realize that I think we all do things in our profession. You know we all should be doing things you know for our fellow man… to glorify each other and help each other out and such. And really that’s the true intent of this is to try to give stuff back to the community, give stuff back to the chiropractic profession. I’ve been practicing for over twenty years now and many people may not know it but I left the career of an M.D. Ph.D. I used to be one of the top pharmacological research students at Ohio State University. And from that perspective I got into chiropractic. Very happy to be in it. Very happy to help people everyday. I tell patients all the time I can’t believe how barbaric this profession is yet it works. And from that perspective it is… it’s a blessing to be a part of it and I’m very happy that I was directed by the Lord to get into it. And I have to say that simply because on of my costal elements locked up on me really bad while I was sitting in church with my arm outstretched on a pew. So, I really feel that there was a divine intervention…

Dr. L: I believe there was. Amen to that!

Dr. R: So, from that perspective I just would encourage everybody no matter what you are doing in the community just to you know, really do things that help benefit other people and then as people really identify with you as a good person they’re going to identify with you as a… for whatever your particular professional capability is whether it’s chiropractic or anything else and they are going to come to appreciate you and know that you genuinely care. Which seems to be something that is harder and harder to find anymore is people that just generally you know want to find that they are taking an interest in stuff.

Dr. L: Hey Doc, why don’t you go ahead and give out your website for everybody?

Dr. R: It is DrDavidRyan.com and so that’s D-R no period, D-A-V-I-D, Ryan R-Y-A-N, dot com.

Dr. L: Great.

Dr. R: They can also find me at bodybuilding.com. I’m one of the big writers of bodybuilding.com so if you ever want to find out anything about the world of fitness, nutrition and I also write about health related topics. I’m proud to say that I’m probably Googled more than most porn stars are. We get about 15 million hits a month. And we’re about number 70… actually somewhere between 60 and 70 in the world right now in e-commerce. So, we’re ahead of Macy’s Department stores and JCPenny. And so I use that. Oddly enough they’ve asked me to start writing some articles on chiropractic because more and more people are asking and so I just had another article that is getting ready to come out called “How to Improve Your Spine with Excersize.” So that’s coming out. There is stuff on there for personal trainers. I talk about thyroid blood testing. And if there is ever any question that somebody ever has about stuff they are always welcome to email me and ask anything they need to on there. I’ll be more than happy to point them in the direction of an article that’s already written or in some cases they motivate me to write something else. And I’m always happy and looking forward as a writer to be able to get inspiration for that.

Dr. L: Well that’s fantastic. We’re going to go ahead and put those links in our show notes so people can find you real easily. And Logan and I…

Dr. R: Last but not least, once again we try to rise to the fame so they can go to headblade.com and they’ll actually see a chiropractor in there. From headblade.com I’m in there next to Howie Mandel and such simply because obviously I don’t have any hair on my head. So, it’s not to be toted and brought up as a chiropractor in the celebrity rankings, I guess you would say.  So once again we’re proud to be there and represent the profession in a positive manner.

Dr. L: Very good. Hey you know when it comes to roadtrips, I know you are currently traveling on one right now with your fiancé, it’s the unusual things like a gigantic spine that make it memorable. Certainly being interviewed on Spinal Column Radio  as you speed down the highway ranks right up there with the best of them.  But I want to let you know that Logan and I have done a little research for you guys and we’ve identified some places that you might want to consider diverting to on your way to Columbus. So, while you’re in Georgia you might want to consider swinging through Gainesville to check out the 20-foot statue of a rabbit or perhaps you might enjoy what’s described as “one of the oddest memorials to an American president. A big, grinning peanut outside of a mini-mart in Jimmy Carter’s hometown in Plains, GA.”

Dr. R: Well I’ve got to warn you that the fiancé is a two-time graduate of Gainesville and in my front room is a four foot gator. So, if I don’t have to stop in Gainesville I’m going to do pretty good because I’m sure when she stops she’ll still be looking for anything that might me reminiscent of Tim Tebow that might be in that town. So…

Dr. L: Ok, well…

Dr. R: If I can avoid that I’ll be doing good because I’ve got plenty of things behind me in this truck that say “Gator” on them and being a Buckeye it’s a real confusing thing to a lot of my big friends and fans back home there in Ohio.

Dr. L: All right, well Dr. Ryan I want to thank you for taking time out of your road trip to join me on Spinal Column Radio. No one likes to see a beautiful tree have to come down but you took an unfortunate situation and turned it into something great. Something great for your office and something great for chiropractic. Your spinal statue has the potential to introduce people for the first time to the awesome healing profession of chiropractic. And for that, Dr. Ryan, I commend you for being an “Extraordinary Chiropractor Who Did an Extraordinary Thing.”

Dr. R: Thanks Tom. I appreciate it. And I appreciate Logan’s help there. He’s probably missing some of the game and so I’m worried about that. And I want to thank all of your listeners for tuning in and anybody else who shows an interest and anybody else who shows an interest in putting forth the effort to write us a letter and ask us any questions and things like that. And God bless all the other chiropractors and patients out there because me doing this by myself really doesn’t come out to anything except an “O.C.D. Experiment.”

Dr. L: Ok. Hey, drive safe.

Dr. R: All right. God bless you guys. Thanks.


[transitional sound effect]

Dr. David T. Ryan…  truly an “Extraordinary Chiropractor…”  Who not only has a great big spine… but a great big heart as well.

For those of you who are thinking about, perhaps, taking a “virtual drive by” of Dr. Ryan’s giant spine, as of the recording of this podcast, Google Maps has yet to update their “Street Car Shot”… so, for now, you can “drive by” his office and see the beautiful Maple Tree that once stood there in all of its glory.  I’m sure it won’t be long, though, before Google does an update.

Hey, you’ll want to check out our show notes for this episode to not only see this magnificent Spinal Wonder, but also to find the links to Dr. Ryan’s website and the other sites he spoke of.  Plus I’ll  link to the Dynamic Chiropractic article on his giant spinal monument. And I’ll also put a link to Google Maps so you can do your own virtual, “looky-loo” drive by of his office…. it will be as if you were there.  And last but not least, I’ll put a link to the RoadsideAmerica.com website, which is a really fun website that lists all sorts of quirky, fun, odd, one-of-a-kind road trip must-sees across our great nation.

Well, I do plan on getting to work to help Dr. Ryan alert to folks over at Guinness Book of World’s Records as well as Roadside America… because, you know, a Gigantic 25-foot spine is just simply too cool not to tell the world.

Although, I’ve must say, I now have my eye on the 80-foot-plus Douglas Fir that sits at the entrance to the Health Services Center where I practice… It would make a really nice spine….. Now if I could just convince my landlord and the doctor neighbors.


[outro theme music]

Well, that’s going to wrap up this episode.  Hey if you find yourself swinging by Dr. Ryan’s Gigantic Spine on one of your road trips, send us a picture to DrLamar AT SpinalColumnRadio Dot Com.  And we’ll post it in our show notes.  Thanks Again to Dr. David T. Ryan of Columbus, Ohio.

Spinal Column Radio would like to remind you that true health comes from the inside out — not outside in.  As such, the content of this podcast, along with the show notes and related links, is not intended to cure, diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.  But, instead, is meant to inform and inspire you in asking better questions regarding your health.  Since the circumstances surrounding your particular situation are unique, you are encouraged to consult with a Doctor of Chiropractic — or other health care practitioner of your choosing.

Next time on Spinal Column Radio, New York Chiropractor, Gary Deutchman, is going to join us as we remember September 11, 2001…. And how in the after math of this horrific, terrorist event that forever changed our Nation, chiropractors from all over — on their own accord — showed to up Ground Zero, and rolled up their sleeves,  to deliver around the clock chiropractic care to the physically exhausted and emotionally-over loaded relief and rescue workers.  That’s in two weeks.  So, until then, for my son Logan, who’s tweaking the knobs on the mixer board, this is Dr. Thomas Lamar, your podcast chiropractor.


Spinal Column Radio is a production of Spinal Column Communications in conjunction with AnchorChiropractic.net.  Copyright 2010.

Download a PDF version of these Show Notes

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my blog! It gave me lots to consider for my upcoming practice and my eventual family. I can’t think of any questions for Dr. Ohm at the moment, but I look forward to listening to the interview.

Comment by Meghan Luttrell

Meghan, you are welcome. Good luck with your practice and your future family.

Dr. L.

(Meghan is a chiropractic student at Sherman College of Chiropractic and writes a blog that details her experiences from that perspective. She has recently gotten married and will be graduating soon. You can read her blog at http://sherman.blogs.com/meghan/ )

Comment by drlamar

Great job Thomas… Chiropractic history is so interesting and listening to you adds the spice that
makes the listen even better. Thanks

Comment by Dr. Bob Tarantino

Hi Dr. Bob –
Thanks for the nice comment (meant for Episodes 017-21). I really enjoyed interviewing you at New Beginnings in New Jersey last week and look forward to sharing it with the world on SpinalColumnRadio in the future.

Comment by drlamar

Hey just noticed that Dr. Ryan’s Gigantic Spine Statue is now listed on RoadsideAmerica.com!

Comment by drlamar

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