Spinal Degeneration

Spinal degeneration refers to a degeneration of either the vertebra (the boney portion of the spine), the intervertebral disc (which is between most of the vertebrae in the spine), or both . In the video, you will see a model of vertebra located in the low back. There is a top vertebra, then the intervertebral disc, and then another vertebra that sits below the disc. You will also see examples of the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots.

For purposes of understanding pain as it relates to spinal degeneration, it’s important to understand that all the spinal nerve roots in the low back go into the low back, buttocks and legs, and all the spinal nerve roots in the neck go into the arms and the upper back. So what you’ve got is the potential for a lot of what we call radicular or referred pain when spinal segments start to degenerate.

The intervertebral disc can be said to resemble a “jelly donut.” It has a hard outer layer (the annulus fibrosis), and a gelatinous core (the nucleus pulposus). Stress placed on the disc from an accident, or from poor posture for example, can result in a “bulging” or “herniated” disc.

With spinal degeneration you may get deformities in the vertebra, but very often what you see first is deformation of the intradiscal material, usually toward the back of the body. For example, an individual who is doing a lot of sitting and slouching, could place a lot of compression on the front of the spine, pinching the front of the vertebra together. When that happens, the nucleus or jelly portion of the disc starts to migrate backwards, placing an enormous amount of stretch stress on the back portion of the spine, ultimately causing the spinal cord to be compressed (see the video on this page). The bulge can also go off to one side or another, hitting the nerve roots on either side. This is the more common scenario. If the disc is bulging in the low back, it can result in pain anywhere from the low back to the buttocks, to the hip, to the groin, down the thigh, down the leg, and into the foot. These pain patterns are referred to as “radiating pain” or “sciatica.” If the disc is bulging in the neck, it could result in headache pain, pain in the upper shoulders, upper back, or anywhere on the arm or hand.

There are many ways to treat a bulging or herniated disc: Exercise therapies utilizing McKenzie treatment protocols, strengthening exercises, chiropractic manipulative techniques, and the DRX9000™ can all be utilized in the course of treatment, as needed. While the McKenzie protocols and strengthening exercises can be performed by you and can be very effective, some people need more help. The DRX9000™ is a state of the art spinal decompression machine. When receiving a treatment, the spine is allowed to slowly but surely increase the space between the vertebrae, creating a negative gravity or vacuum effect which decreased the bulging and helps restore the intervertebral disc to a more healthy, natural, homeostatic, non-impinging state. Treatments are very comfortable, and studies have shown it to be over 85% effective for decreasing pain and increasing disc space.

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Good morning! Check out this article by Dana Poblete! I agree!

Why Salad Might Not Be The Best Choice After All

September 24, 2015
by Dana Poblete for Thrive Market

Why Salad Might Not Be The Best Choice After All

Have you heard? Salad is Public Enemy No. 1 right now—much to the dismay of faithful dieters everywhere, and a delight to all of its naysayers.
Let’s be totally honest: How often have we sat down to lunch and stared into a pile of lettuce wishing it would morph into something more tantalizing? Plenty. But the health benefits are worth the sacrificial sad salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and a few carrot shavings, right? Wrong.

Salad is a sly one at inspiring the health halo effect. But its role in the human diet and the environment is anything but angelic. Lettuce is little more than a glorified garnish to heaps of other fillers like celery and cucumbers, and all too often, these ingredients swim in high-calorie dressing with the sodium content of a salt lick. And just because a salad is green, doesn’t mean it’s green. Lettuce alone requires its fair share of water and fossil fuels to get from farm to table, where it delivers only a nominal amount of nutrition.
But don’t get us wrong; salad can often be a smart and satisfying meal option. Here are six do’s and don’ts to ensure a sad salad will never be had again.

Do it yourself.

Don’t pat yourself on the back for ordering a Cobb salad from a chain restaurant.
A typical California Cobb salad—topped with bleu cheese, ranch, and bacon—from a national chain restaurant could have as much as 1,030 calories and a whopping 1,680 milligrams of sodium. A safer way to ensure a healthier salad: Make it at home where you can handpick the most nutritious ingredients and control the portions.

Do start with nutrient-rich greens.

Don’t stick to plain lettuce.
In 2011, lettuce was grown on 206,000 acres of California’s 25.3 million acres of total farm land. That’s a lot considering it’s only slightly more nutritious than water, which comprises about 96 percent of each leaf. Okay, all vegetables are mostly water—but still, iceberg lettuce pales in comparison to other greens like kale and spinach when it comes to nutritional value. (One hundred grams of spinach contains 188 percent of daily requirements for vitamin A and 47 percent for vitamin C, compared to the same amount of iceberg lettuce, which provides 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively.)
And have you tasted iceberg lettuce? We haven’t. (Get it?) Try arugula, also known as rocket, for a salad with a peppery bite. Better nutrition and more flavor just from ditching plain old lettuce? Sounds like an easy win.

Do throw in tons of colorful vegetables.

Don’t throw together a bunch of garnishes.
Just like lettuce, cucumber and radishes contain very little nutrition on top of high water density compared to other vegetables. Some people claim celery is a negative-calorie food, meaning it may require more energy to digest than the energy it actually delivers to the body. Although this is a controversial point, why load a salad with fillers when there are a rainbow of vegetables out there that can pack essential vitamins and minerals into a single meal?
Be adventurous and add in some sautéed Brussels sprouts or mushrooms, or roast some sweet potatoes to mix into a salad for plenty of nutrition and an added dimension of flavor and texture. Sweet potatoes are among the vegetables with the lowest water content (about 77 percent). Plus, cooked vegetables are typically easier to digest than a fully raw salad.

Do add healthy protein.

Don’t add processed protein.
The easy way to salad nirvana is to pile on barbecued or fried chicken strips, maybe a handful of cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. It’s tempting, but it’s a quick way to negate the whole point of eating salad. Instead, go for a healthy dose of protein in the form of a hard-boiled egg. Sustainable tuna and wild-caught salmon are also great options, and provide essential omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarians and vegans, try flaxseeds, which also contain omega-3s, as well as legumes like garbanzo beans. If you gotta have the cheese and the sour cream, opt for organic, and do it in moderation.

Do experiment with homemade dressings.

Don’t reach for store-bought ranch or bleu cheese every time.
We get it—sometimes it feels like only excess amounts of oil and croutons can save a salad. But one serving of bleu cheese dressing can contain about 142 calories and 280 milligrams of sodium—more than all the rest of the salad ingredients combined, in some cases. A simple homemade citrus vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice and zest, cracked black pepper, and sea salt will do the trick. Keep dressing portions to two tablespoons.

Do compost uneaten salad.

Don’t throw it in the garbage.
It’s easy to be overly ambitious about a commitment to eating salad; greens can turn into slime quickly in the fridge when we’re rushing to and from work and enjoying more decadent lunches and dinners out. That may be why 1 billion pounds of lettuce ends up in landfills each year. If salad ingredients go to waste, don’t throw them in the garbage; it’s destined to rot in a landfill, releasing methane into the atmosphere. Instead, make an effort to compost your greens so that they can go right back into the soil. Ultimately, be mindful of how much lettuce and other produce you will realistically eat.

If you’ve been looking for a reason to pass on the salad, go ahead and skip it in favor of another nutritious, veggie-heavy meal like a stir fry or veggie bowl.

But if you wholeheartedly love it, or a salad is the most conscientious option next to a double cheeseburger and fries, go for a big bowl of greens. Just go the extra mile and choose your salad ingredients wisely.
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