A herniated disc is one of the more serious back or neck pain problems there is. And, it is unfortunately fairly common. In fact, the chances are that you have some disc degeneration in one or two places. And, degeneration is what usually comes before a disc herniates.
There are two places where the disc tends to degenerate on most people. The first is between C5 and C6 in the neck, and between L5 and the sacrum in the lower back. Both are usually very painful.
Note on the L5 photo: L4 is to the inside of the hip bone in back, where the left finger is pointing. L5 is pointed out with the right finger.
The primary cause of both of these degenerated discs has to do with eating sugar and ground up grains. Note: ground up grains are processed foods whether they start off whole or not. And, they cause the same problems (and usually more) as sugar.
These foods, or non-foods as they can be rightly be called, cause the body to have sugar handling problems. There are systems that are altered when the body’s sugar handling is out of balance. One is a weakening of the abdominal muscles.
The stomach muscles are needed to support the torso, to keep pressure off the lower back. The entire weight of the upper body is supported by the lower back and the abdominal muscles. So, eating processed foods and sugar results in more pressure on the spine, especially in the lower back.
This is why lower back pain is so common. And, why the discs in the lower back tend to degenerate. This degeneration often leads to a bulging disc which can lead to a herniated disc.
The neck pain problem happens at C5 because of the way information about sugar metabolism travels to the brain via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve travels from the brain on either side of the neck to C5 where it branches out. As the excess sugar metabolism information travels from the gut to the brain through thousands of nerves a sort of traffic jam happens where the nerves converge together at the fifth cervical vertebra. Here is a link where you can learn more about neck pain and C5.
That traffic jam causes inflammation and tension at C5, usually (but not always) on the right side. That pulls the vertebra out of alignment. Long term misalignment causes pressure on the disc which gets worn down. In the worst cases it will eventually bulge and sometimes herniate.
A degenerated disc can be serious because it can get completely worn down leaving bone on bone. Long before that happens the nerves between the vertebrae have already been compressed (essentially a pinched nerve) which causes a lot of pain.
The holistic treatment for a degenerated and a bulging disc (and a herniated disc too, but that can get complicated) begins with eliminating processed foods. That is the hardest part for most people. There are things that can help, but that’s another article.
The second part is to take herbs and supplements to bring the sugar handling mechanism back into balance. For the most part this has to do with healing adrenal fatigue. You can lean more about that in Adrenal Fatigue, Get Your Life Back.
Then there are supplements for rebuilding the disc. One of the best is Ligaplex 2 from Standard Process. You’ll need to get this one from me because Standard Process only sells to trained practitioners.
Another possibility is MSM, a sulfur based supplement. The problem with MSM is that most people don’t metabolize sulfur properly. This is a form of allergy that can be easily treated with Applied Kinesiology. You can get an allergy treatment from me if you like, just contact me for a phone session.
Another supplement possibility is glucosamine sulfate. Most people get gluconsimine sufate with chondroitin, but in most cases the much more expensive chondroitin isn’t necessary. The same sulfur metabolism issue exists with this product, so be sure to get the allergy cleared for best results.
For any of these products it is essential to know which will work best for you. A short healing phone session with me will let you know what the priority is.
There are also some gentle joint manipulations that will most likely be needed for either the neck or lower back. The neck adjustments are covered in Self Adjusting Technique. The lower back will likely need something more than what is covered in SAT, but that can be done via a Skype session.
Finally, there will almost always be at least one emotional issue that will need to be cleared for a full healing. That will also require a phone session.
I realize this may sound complicated, and in some ways it is. But, most people will have at least fair success if they follow these suggestions, even if they don’t get the mentioned treatments. I’ve seen people heal with only stopping processed foods and taking Ligaplex 2 for six to twelve weeks. Of course, the best thing would be to contact me for a session to know the absolute best treatment plan for you.