Previously I told you my story with the herniated disks I have for years. And as I promised I am going to share with you how exactly I managed to keep this issue under control. Now I do not have pain crises (knock on wood), my leg is not so numb anymore and I allow myself to lift heavy objects when necessary. I do not mean I am completely recovered, but for the time being, I am satisfied that my neurologist does not push me to undergo a surgery anymore, and I can walk and exercise pain free. So, if you have some sort of back issues or you suspect that there is a high chance to develop one, take a look at the upcoming articles.
Here are my simple steps for better back health:
1. Dealing with negative emotions and past traumas – what do emotions have to do with my back? According to many studies – a lot! There are scientific studies that show the correlation between childhood traumas and unsuccessful spine surgeries. I remember reading one study in which patients were divided in three groups – 1.people with happy childhood; 2.people with some sort of childhood traumas; 3.people with major traumatic experiences in their early ages. These 3 groups of patients all suffered from herniated disks and they we all scheduled for spinal surgery (the slipped disks are removed and replaced with artificial ones in order to support the vertebrae). After the operations, the patients were observed and were put to tests in certain time intervals. Only a small portion (I believe it was less that 2%) of group 1 experienced a relapse in the disease. The patients from group 2 had higher percentage of people with second slipped disk. And a large portion (I think the number was higher than 80%) of the ones from group 3 did not recover from the surgery and soon after it they had another herniated disk in another segment of the spine. This study alone says enough about to what extent our emotions affect the body. Louise Hay says that our backbone is our support – literally and figuratively speaking. If we feel unsupported, non-nurtured (especially in early years), out of control, hyper-stressed, our spain develops diseases corresponding to our emotional state. So, the first thing we need to address is the emotional, mental or even physical traumas and tension. The options here are numerous. Just find the one that really speaks to you. You can analyze your childhood, find the situations and / or people that caused you pain or any other kind of negative emotional charge. Then, release these emotions with EFT. Or start including relaxing practices in your daily life, such as meditation or prana (breathing yoga).
2. Hydration – at first glance, water consumption has no direct relation to the backbone disks. But this is not true – they have a lot to do with that tissue. If we take a look at the material of our disks, we will see that they look like a jelly substance. And a big part of that jelly is water. So, if our bodies are dehydrated regularly, the disks lose their elasticity and their capacity to cushion the vertebrae. It is like your car lacks its suspension fluids. For me, it is still not very easy to learn to drink enough water. It feels like learning to walk again. But it is absolutely achievable. I started increasing my hydration little by little. Just one glass of water at a time. If you start (from tomorrow or from Monday) drinking 2 more liters of water, the chances are that you are going to spend the whole day in the loo.:D My suggestion is to start slowly and to use the purest water you can afford – filtered, spring, low mineralized, reverse osmosis, or even distilled (for a short period of time).
3. Nutrition – in order to restore the disk we also are going to need to include different substances in our diet. There are a lot of supplements on the market, of course. If you wish to try them, that's fine. I personally do not like them. I have tried one with glucosamine and chondroitin, but I did not feel any different. So, if you have the opportunity to take these with the food or from more natural sources, it will be great. You can find these substances in sea food and animal cartilages and by examining them we ensure the building blocks for the connecting tissue for our joints and spine. Also we will need more Omega 3 fatty acids, which can be supplied from cold pressed oils, fatty fish, flax seeds, chia and many more. Vitamins from B group are very beneficial for people with herniated disks and all sorts of issues with the peripheral nervous system. Vitmans B1, B6 and B12 nourish the nerves and help them recover from the disk accident. Usually doctors prescribe them as a part of the treatment, but It is worth mentioning anyway.
In the next part I will describe different exercises for the back that are valuable for our backbone health.