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chronic disc issues: dealing with underlying inflammation


The large red “X” above is at the IVF of the fifth lumbar disc — the lowest disc in the spine.  Although this disc should be the thickest disc in the spine, after 25 years of practice I can authoritatively say that in people with any degree of low back issues, this is rarely the case.  In fact, I would dare say that in most of the over-40 crowd, the fifth lumbar disc (the lowest disc in the low back) is the thinnest disc as opposed to the thickest. 

Although I was taught and used to believe this thinning was purely a mechanical phenomenon caused by the immense stresses and loads the spine is under so much of the time (every time you bend forward the movement mostly occurs at the fifth lumbar disc), I’ve come to realize that this is not completely true.

Much of this has to do with studies showing OSTEOARTHRITIS or “Degenerative Arthritis” (in the extremities this is called DJD or Degenerative Joint Disease, while in the spine it’s referred to as DDD or Degenerative Disc Disease) is largely a function of inflammation. 

This is the biggest reason that study after study after study has shown that whether we are talking about disc herniations, degenerative discs, or deterioration of joints elsewhere in the body (HERE and HERE), there is little correlation between the amount of pain a person is having and the severity of findings as seen on their x-rays and MRI’s.  The silver lining is that you can use this information to your advantage when dealing with chronic low back pain. 

When the medical community treats people with chronic low back issues, they address it three different ways.  Firstly, they deal with the pain by prescribing various sorts of PAIN MEDS.  While there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach for the short haul — especially if the person is in horrendous pain — it’s never a good thing, and especially not for more than a few weeks at the most.  Secondly, they deal with inflammation — kind of.  I say “kind of” only because what they are doing is masking inflammation as opposed to actually stopping it at the source (EXPLAINED WELL HERE).

And thirdly, they (including alternative practitioners) are attacking these sorts of problems mechanically (CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS, THERAPY, EXERCISE, STRETCHES, VARIOUS SORTS OF BODYWORK, SPINAL DECOMPRESSION THERAPY, INVERSION, WBV, etc, etc).  For the record, BACK SURGERY is also a form of mechanical intervention, albeit an invasive one.

Don’t get me wrong; this approach has proven successful for many individuals.  However, for many it misses the mark — sometimes miserably. While the three steps mentioned above might be necessary, they all fail in one critically important area — stopping the inflammation unrelated to the injured or degenerative disc itself. 

You see, while a certain amount of INFLAMMATION is required to heal damaged tissues, too much leads to a variety of serious serious and systemic problems, including chronic pain.  The problem is that tissue damage can occur via any number of reasons, including things such as your DIET and your level of GUT HEALTH.  There are many other possibilities. 

The really cool thing about dealing with your chronic back pain in this manner, is that it’s the best way to deal with almost any health problem you can imagine (I’ll show you why in a moment).  When Larry thought he was going to have to have back surgery because of the severe low back pain he had dealt with for half a year, it was dealing with systemic inflammation that “cured” him (HERE). 

And love him or hate him, it’s no coincidence why TOM BRADY continues to play at a level rarely seen by anyone, let alone by someone approaching their 40th birthday.  Both these cases have one thing in common — going all out to control inflammation.  Which leads us to something really amazing for those of you struggling with chronic health issues, including low back pain.

Whether you have CHRONIC BACK PAIN, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, or any of the AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES on this list (click the link), you can address them in an almost identical fashion.  And you don’t have to wait to get your doctor’s permission to start much of what’s found on this protocol (HERE).  People are using the information on this site to create their own EXIT STRATEGIES to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUNDHERE it is, and it’s totally free. 

It might not solve each and every health issue you are dealing with (including your back problem), but it will at least give you a fighting chance as well as a starting point.  Click the links to see why.

When it comes to embryological development, the first thing to form is your nervous system — brain and spinal cord.  It’s so important that it ends up encased in protective bone.  The skull is essentially a fixed structure (no offense to the craniosacral people here), while the spinal column is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae.  In between most of these vertebrae are spinal discs, which act as cushions or bushings.  The nerves travel throughout the body after exiting the spinal cord through small “windows” along either side of the spinal column.

The discs are of critical importance for any number of reasons, with one of the biggest being that the height of the window (known as the IVF or Intervertebral Foramen) where the nerves exit the spinal column, is directly proportional to the height of the disc (see picture below).  This means that things that cause disc thinning in any capacity have the propensity to diminish the size of the IVF.  Considering that this is where the nerve roots live, you can guess how big a problem this presents.


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