Cox® Technic
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Blog #5 - Nutrition In Treating Disc Degeneration, Disc Herniation, And Spinal Arthritis

March 9, 2016 00:28 by jamesmcoxdcdacbr

Kuo reported that impaired nutrition leads to disc degeneration; therefore, there is a definite need to improve disc nutrition. (1) Zhu stated impairment of different nutrition pathways results in different degenerative patterns in human discs. (2) Shirazi-adl reported disc nutrient concentrations could fall to levels inadequate to maintain cellular activity or viability, resulting in cell death and disc degeneration. Gu states that poor nutritional supply has a long-term effect on disc degeneration. The nutritional level, proteoglycan content, water content, and volume during human disc degeneration in a realistic 3-dimensional finite element model of the human intervertebral disc was developed for the study of nutrition of the disc. (3)

Note that the term proteoglycan content is referred to in the above citation by Gu. What is this proteoglycan so important in maintaining a normal intervertebral disc and preventing disc degeneration? It is glycosaminoglycan which is the proteoglycan in the intervertebral disc that imbibes water to give the intervertebral its normal hydrostatics for weight bearing and normal motion. Glycosaminoglycan is primarily chondroitin sulfate. Schleich states biochemical alterations of spinal discs are present before degeneration of the disc is visible on x-ray or MRI. (4) Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) loss plays a central role in these degenerative processes. GAG content of the nucleus pulposus (np) and annulus fibrosus (af) of the disc showed lower levels of gag content as disc degeneration worsens. Deng found glycosaminoglycan in the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus decreases as disc degeneration increases.  Of great interest is that the depletion of GAG content in degenerative lumbar discs correlated significantly with intervertebral disc herniation.

What can be done to impede disc degeneration and enhance disc regeneration?  Mavroaonatou stated that glycosaminoglycan synthesis stimulated by glucosamine provides a possible promising clinical role for treating disc degenerative disorders. (7) Shostak reported on 30 patients with LBP (mean age 51) who were given chondroitin sulfate (drug structum) 1g/day for 24 weeks. 73% of patients showed pain relief and improved spinal function and structum is included in treatment of low back pain as chondroprotective drug. (5) Seleznova reports that chondroitin sulfate in combination with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could achieve rapid rehabilitation of patients with locomotor activity and improve quality of life in general for non-specific back pain. (6)

Since 1966 I have researched chondroitin sulfate, the chemical making up glycosaminoglycan within the human intervertebral disc, and have formulated Discat Plus which contains chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and other nutrients found in the disc- calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and potassium.

In clinical practice, I give Discat Plus to patients with disc degeneration, disc herniation, and spine pain. It will, in the future, be a preventive supplement as is the structum formula described above.

Consider the nutritional aspect of treating spine pain, disc degeneration, disc herniation and spinal arthritis. Flexion distraction spinal manipulation which incorporated disc decompression under traction may be a stimulus to enhance imbibition of Discat Plus into the intervertebral disc.

For further information, contact Julie or this link on Discat Plus.

Respectfully submitted,

James M. Cox, DC, DACBR


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