Disk Degeneration, Low Back Pain, Heart Disease, and Smoking. Is there a Connection ?
Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm
San Francisco Disk Pain Doctor Comments on the relationship between Lifestyle Choices and Low Back Pain:
Our SF Bay Area Chronic Back Pain Centers have been preaching Lifestyle as the primary cause of spine and disk degeneration, as well as many of the other degenerative diseases. Heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer for example, have all been shown to have Lifestyle or Contextual parameters, that when out of balance, lead to the cellular changes we associate with disease. This is not new cutting edge information. It's just not mainstream. The thing is, it's not what people want to hear. People want to hear that they can have their cake and eat it too. We want to be able to eat whatever we want, not exercise, and live to be 100 years old. In actuality, I think we could live to be 100 years old if the external/internal conditions were right (Lifestyle). Cells thrive under certain conditions, and we know what these conditions are. Unfortunately, these conditions do not include refined sugar, animal protein and fat, smoking and drinking alcohol, or lack of exercise, to name a few. By design, we are herbivorous (plant eaters). We have hands for gathering. We have flat teeth for grinding plant roots. We have a digestive enzyme produced in our mouth (by our salivary glands) called salivary amylase that's sole purpose is to break down long chains of complex carbohydrates (starches). This would not be the case if we were not designed to eat plants. Anyway, enough of that. What is the connection between Disk Disease, Low Back Pain, Heart Disease, and Smoking ?
Well, it seems that the same mechanisms that cause degeneration of the arteries (from smoking), also cause degeneration of the spine and disks. Smoking deprives the body of oxygen which tissues need to regenerate and stay healthy, the spine and disks included. In fact, there is research that that supports this. Here is something I found:
Smoking and low back pain study results The study results, which were reported at the 2001 annual meeting of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Francisco, lend support to the theory that the mechanism of injury in low back pain is damage to the vascular structures of the discs and joints.
So, the moral of the story is, you DO have control over your health. The spine and the rest of the body do NOT just degenerate on their own. Sure there is a certain amount of normal degeneration. But, we have ended up redefining what is considered normal because degenerative diseases are so common. Common because our Lifestyles are so out of balance. One sure way to increase the odds of a healthy life with less back pain is to eat right, exercise, relax, and stay away from smoking, drugs and alcohol. Also, I recommend you read the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell.