To Your Health
December, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 12)
Recipe for a Healthy Spine
By Editorial Staff
You only have one spine, and you need it for a lifetime. Healthy spinal discs are one of the keys. Intervertebral discs act as cushions between spinal vertebrae, but "life" takes a toll. A lifetime of walking, standing and other activities, combined with the body's aging process itself, can deteriorate spinal discs over time, making them drier, thinner and more likely to crack.
It's called spinal disc degeneration, and it's no laughing matter. Among other problems, it can cause significant pain, not to mention limited range of motion and function. Periodic chiropractic adjustments are one of the ways to keep the spinal discs – and spine – healthy for a lifetime, reducing the risk of disc degeneration. Your chiropractor also may recommend supplements, particularly omega-3s, which new research suggests also may reduce the risk of degeneration.
This laboratory study, which appears in the research journal Medical Science Monitor, suggests daily omega-3 fatty acid supplementation [530 mg/kg/day of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in a 2:1 ratio, administered in sucrose solution] "reduces systemic inflammation by lowering AA/EPA ratios in blood serum and has potential protective effects on the progression of spinal disc degeneration." AA, or arachidonic acid, is an omega-6 fatty acid – associated with the inflammatory process; as opposed to omega-3s, which are anti-inflammatory. Thus, improving the AA/EPA ratio (essentially meaning less inflammatory omega-6s compared to anti-inflammatory omega-3s) may positively impact spinal disc degeneration by reducing inflammation.
Your chiropractor can tell you more about disc degeneration and how chiropractic adjustments, supplements such as omega-3s, and other wellness care can keep your spine healthy for a lifetime.