The chemistry of bulging disc treatment

by | Oct 12, 2013 | Functional Medicine, Low Back Health | 0 comments

intervertebral disc

I can never learn enough about low back pain.

Back pain is one of the most frequent miseries visited upon the human species, with a huge toll of pain and disability. It results in countless surgeries and dependence on narcotics for pain relief.

I’ve followed the developing research on the biomechanics of the low back and applied that knowledge through the use of sophisticated manual therapy, decompression, and exercise rehabilitation.

But in a parallel universe, another huge mountain of research has studied the chemistry of low back pain: how inflammation arises, the cascades of signaling molecules that irritate the nerve endings, and how your metabolism adapts to long-term stress.

Here’s what’s become clear –

Biomechanical stress is only one step in the evolution of low back pain. The physical stress releases chemicals that eat away at the disc from the inside. They break down protein and trigger inflammation, initiating a destructive cycle in the intervertebral disc.

• The disc fibers lose their resilience.
• The disc dries out and loses some of its ability to evenly distribute loads.
• Ultimately, fissures develop in the outer layer of the disc.
• When those fissures get severe enough, a disc herniation can occur.

Three Nutritional Keys to Bulging Disc Treatment

One – Eat a diet that stabilizes your system against cycles of inflammation.

  • Minimize carbohydrates, especially sugar
  • Minimize polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Strictly limit your intake of corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, and the like.
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, and good old fashioned butter- yes butter – are all much better.

Two – Helpful supplements to combat low back pain

  • Marine oils and other essential fatty acids
  • Whey-based protein powder
  • Digestive enzymes – but don’t take them with your meals. Then they’ll be used to break down the protein in the food you’re eating. Take them between meals and they’ll have a potent anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs. Curcumin is the best studied.Call my office (212-400-9663) or send an e-mail ( to obtain high quality versions of each of these products.

Three – Hidden metabolic benefits of chiropractic treatment

Normally, it’s hard to get nutrients – and even oxygen – into your intervertebral disc.  That’s because there’s no direct blood supply. The spinal motion created by chiropractic treatment sucks nutrients into the intervertebral disc while waste metabolites are flushed out.  Your disc gets multiple extra doses of nutrition with each treatment session.

The extra nutrition helps discs to heal and regain some of their mechanical strength.  You get more than just pain relief – the discs can regain some of their lost height and bind more water.


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