The spine supports the weight of the upper body and the functional stress imposed by the lower body, therefore, it is the largest and most vulnerable structure in the human body. As we become largely sedentary and relatively immobile muscle atrophy occurs as does diminished muscle tone, bulk and flexibility.
Good posture becomes increasingly difficult and the spinal column literally collapses. This degeneration creates numerous biomechanical imbalances increasing stress on the discs and ligaments so that the spine is no longer supported by vibrant musculature. The result is pathological conditions (osteophyte formation, scar tissue, inflammation, joint contracture) leading to pain and restriction. As degeneration continues more ominous events are likely; disc herniations, stenosis, etc.
Prevention and maintenance practices should include exercise to increase muscle strength and flexibility; 30 minutes per day, vigorous but age appropriate. Be sure to include a balanced diet and stress management practices. Conventional therapy (drugs, cortisone, ultrasound, ice, IFC, etc.) currently in Back to Basics use act to modulate the symptoms but do not effectively cure the pathology.
The most promising, currently available treatment option is Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT). The therapy converts light to biochemical energy resulting in normal cell morphology and function – symptoms disappear. We are often asked by patients “Why doesn’t my doctor know about this?” as they begin to feel pain-free for the first time in a long time.