Wrinkles, frown lines, smile lines, disc degeneration…natural events with growing older (and, might we add, wiser!). (Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic knows many wise Augusta chiropractic patients!) Discs degenerate. In fact, discs are reported to begin degenerating in the second decade of life. By your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, it would be less unusual to not have disc degeneration. Research today is showing some promise in the care of disc degeneration with even the potential being floated in the literature of potential disc regeneration. This is amazing to your Augusta chiropractor and to chiropractic patients everywhere!
THE ROLE OF THE DISC
The disc is the spine’s shock absorber. The disc opposes the compressive loads put on the spine during movement. How is it able to do this? It has an elevated proteoglycan aggrecan content. Proteolysis is the loss of aggrecan that happens with degeneration. Researchers propose that restoration of aggrecan loss in the nucleus of the disc is possible via cells that can synthesize aggrecan and be borne by the disc’s matrix. (1) This gives hope to exploration of probable disc regeneration and its potential to relieve back pain.
AGING AND DISC DEGENERATION
Disc degeneration is a well-documented cause of low back pain. What is the disc made of? Aggrecan is the main component. Aggrecan is the main proteoglycan structure in the extracellular matrix that makes up the disc. Aggrecan is substantial, composed of varied glycosaminoglycan chains. It can form more aggregates when joined with hyaluronan. The glycosaminoglycan chains are negatively charged and bind to water molecules which are vital to keep the disc hydrated enough to permit the disc to tolerate compressive loading it is designed to do. (2) Disc degeneration comes down to the molecules that make up the disc. Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic gets down there, also! These authors suggest that aggrecan-based therapies for disc regeneration are possible.
THERAPY FOR POTENTIAL DISC REGENERATION
Chondroitin sulfate is proving to be such a therapy. Chondroitin sulfate’s potential benefit was initially discussed as far back as 1966 by Cole, Ghosh and Taylor. Chondroitin sulfate is explained as being the source of glycosaminoglycan synthesis in the disc. (3,4,5) Combining nutrition with distraction spinal manipulation indicated promise for potential disc regeneration. (6) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic includes spinal disc nutrition with spinal distraction manipulation for the optimal clinical outcome.
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Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Tyler Lomnicki on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he illustrates The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management integration of gentle distraction manipulation and nutrition for this patient’s relief and management of disc herniation pain.