Dr. T’s Health Tip – Healthy Spinal Discs
Greetings to you,
I’m writing this health tip to help you keep your spinal discs healthy. The discs between the bones are flat, round structures made of tough cartilage. They act as shock absorbers, hold the vertebrae of the spine together, and they also allow for movement of the spine.
As we age, discs can become dehydrated or stiff from the loss of the jellylike fluid inside that helps them maintain their flexibility. A herniated (bulging) disc is usually caused by wear and tear of the disc, fluid loss, or injuries to the spine. An injury can create tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc. The “jelly” inside may be forced out through the tears, causing the disc to bulge or break open. Factors that contribute to this are increased pressure to the lower back from prolonged sitting, heavy strain as in constipation, sudden twisting movements, or improper lifting habits.
Chiropractic is known as “conservative” spinal care, as it doesn’t involve the use of surgery, drugs or injections. In one study, called the “Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial”, two years of investigation discovered that patients with MRI-confirmed disc herniation who were treated with conservative chiropractic care, fared as well as those receiving surgery. This method works best with a three-pronged approach:
– The use of spinal adjustments along with a special “flexion distraction” adjusting table. This technique realigns the spine and effectively decompresses the discs. It applies a gentle stretch to the lower spine with a series of repetitive stretching movements to reduce pressure. It opens up and separates the joints and restores nerve functioning, circulation, and body functions — while providing pain relief. We get great results with this.
– Gentle exercises that directly affect the disc and also those that strengthen and stabilize the spine. Strong abdominal muscles make a stronger spine.
– Nutritional support: Good foods to reduce pain and inflammation in general are omega-3 fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts. Skinless chicken is also acceptable. Foods that are overly inflammatory are refined grains/white flour, high-sugar foods and deep fried foods. Key supplements are vitamin D, magnesium and fish oil. Cartilage-strengthening ones such as Ligaplex II from Standard Process also help the spine and discs to recover.
Until next time…
Yours in health,
Dr. Charlene Thorburn D.C., R.N.
Thorburn Chiropractic and Wellness Center
Increasing Health and Vitality for 25 Years
1612 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91506
Chiropractor, Nutritional Consultant, Registered Nurse