You and I know we could have taken care of our spine — a wee bit better — with some ongoing preventative maintenance. Now we’re here, with pain, and about ready to start trying anything to find relief.
Normal spine health starts with motion and nutrients. If injury or time caused spine issues, there are several doctors spending their lives understanding natural spine health & wellness. Fast and long term strategies are available to help you restore normal spinal function.
Below, we’ll dissect spine anatomy and health, and look through medical textbooks to see what’s new in spine health & wellness.
- My quick personal “mild” chronic upper spine sedentary injury story
- What is spinal stenosis?
- What causes spinal stenosis?
- How can you prevent spinal stenosis?
- What are the conventional treatments for spinal stenosis?
- Are there any natural ways to help spinal stenosis?
- How can CBD help restore normal spine function?
- What CBD products support normal back and spine function?
- Will CBD help normal spine function after Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBBS)?
My quick personal “mild” chronic upper spine sedentary injury story
Since I’m a digital content publisher, I do a lot of sitting & staring at screens.
While in a sit position, even though my fingers move rapidly and my eyes and brain PEAK in concentration with constant active motion — I admit to slumping forwards (occasionally) are sloutching/leaning back.
Not good for my spine. (hopefully obviously)
Thankfully, I don’t have a scary spine disease causing problems.
After spending a good chunk of my day sitting down, I started developing upper spine pain from my sedentary lifestyle.
Upon doing a little research, I started discovering just how important your spine is to daily quality of life.
Not only did I find the spine to be a very complex piece of equipment, but, the further I looked at the specific physical anatomy and different interconnected parts, the more fascinating the idea of a healthy spine kept growing.
After taking a deep dive into various medical journals, I found several natural ways to keep your spine operating at peak normal functions.
Even after developing a chronic upper spine condition, I become curious as to how far a spine could become damaged and what all the potential conventional treatment options were available.
In this article, I chose one specific spine condition, while looking at all the other general natural ways a spine can both be healthy, as well as not functioning correctly.
What is spinal stenosis?
According to the peer-reviewed medical journal StatPerls, spinal stenosis is the compression (narrowing) of the nerve roots.
Nerve roots begin experience compression when the spinal canal stats narrowing and putting pressure on the various nerves throughout the spine.
The most commonly affected areas are the upper neck and lower back. If you’re experiencing pain in the thoracic areas of the spine, it’s most commonly a herniated disc.
Three areas of the spine affected by spinal stenosis.
- Central canal (spinal cord housing)
- Neural foramen (opening where nerve roots exit the spinal cord)
- Lateral recess (where the nerve root enters the neural foramen)
Each of these areas can become compressed from various specific points of the spine, leading to different symptoms.
Some areas that receive compression can reduce the blood supply to different areas.
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is caused by a handful of different (pathological) factors, most common with aging.
Some people are born with a narrow spinal canal and can have issues early in life.
Other factors can include the dislocation (or slipping) of disk and facet joint from degeneration or various changes in spinal curvatures, leading to nerve compression.
Trauma is another cause that can lead to stenosis in different areas of the spin.
Osteoporosis can contribute to stenosis, as well as cigarette smoking, obesity, loss of muscle tone, and potentially more can cause or exacerbate spinal stenosis.
How can you prevent spinal stenosis?
Most people will develop some form of spinal pain in their lifetime.
Even though the majority of us will have some type of spine associated pain, most will experience a very uneventful recovery without surgery. Between 1-3% will be a herniated disc and no more than 2% will have nerve root compression (narrowing).
Degeneration is a handful of different processes that can be controlled by various changes to your daily lifestyle.
What are the conventional treatments for spinal stenosis?
According to StatPerls, they recommend starting with different braces, rest, and anti-inflammatory meds.
Those with severe compression might need some type of surgical decompression or fusion.
For lower spine compression, initial management recommends Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs, physical therapy, and other pain management techniques.
Those experiencing pain are recommended to begin an exercise program, stop smoking, and maintain a healthy weight.
The surgery runs the risk of complications that can be completely disabling.
Other traditional treatment options include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and epidural steroid injections (ESI).
According to F1000 Research, muscle relaxants and opioids are shown as superior to NSAIDs.
Are there any natural ways to help spinal stenosis?
After scouring the internet to find natural methods for spinal stenosis, the first recommended method was an exercise involving stretching for at least 30 minutes three times a week.
If for some reason exercise is difficult, a recommended option is to try doing slow exercising in a pool.
The buoyancy you receiving from doing exercise in a pool help give you a more full range of motion.
Your doctor might recommend specific exercises to help better target certain areas requiring attention.
22 natural ways to support normal spinal function.
- CBD oil (broad-spectrum only –never full-spectrum or isolate CBD products)
- Stretching and exercise (use the pool for extra support)
- Pete Egoscue Posture Therapy (low-back) (mid-back) (shoulders) (neck)
- Chiropractic treatment
- Massage therapy
- Feldenkrais Method (developed by an Israeli electrical engineer) (documentary)
- Apply heat and cold pack
- Good posture (stand up straight, supportive chair, sleep on a firm mattress)
- Lose extra weight
- Use a cane or walker
- Reduce stress
- Slow breathing
- Active release technique
- Yoga and/or Tai Chi
- Inversion therapy
- Peppermint oil
- Devil’s claw herb
- St. Jon’s wort herb
- Change footwear to support correct posture
In one of a Tony Robbins seminar I listened to years ago, I recall him mentioning the name Pete Egoscue and his book called Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method For Stopping Chronic Pain.
Tony Robbins got into some accident and started doing the Pain-Free methods created by Pete Egoscue.
The basic idea behind the Egoscue method essentially deals with various musculoskeletal misalignments.
On the Pain-Free Santa Fe website, they discuss how spinal stenosis is when the body deposits calcium in the spinal canal, thus causing a more narrow area for your spinal cord, which causes pressure and pain.
They go on and say calcium deposits are a result of friction caused by misalignment.
Your body deposits calcium as a response to friction in the attempt to protect itself from the friction.
Pain-Free Santa Fe continues explaining how misalignment of the hip joints causes a misaligned pelvis.
With a misaligned pelvis, the hip joints can either be too tight, too loose or a combination of the two.
With this type of misalignment, your spinal vertebra experiences friction.
The result of friction is your body will send a certain type of fluid that causes arthritis, calcium, and stenosis.
With proper alignment and posture therapy, it’s possible to fix stenosis without drugs or surgery.
Since misalignment causes the muscles to keep hold of the body in its misaligned state, the muscles need to relearn proper alignment through various Egoscue posture therapy.
According to the Egoscue method, in restoring the spine to a functional state, the actual spinal cord will have a proper amount of room to operate normally.
How can CBD help restore normal spine function?
In the last few years, CBD has been gaining a lot of attention for helping a large variety of body functions return back to normal healthy operation.
Just about anyone who’s started using CBD has found a vast improvement in their normal active daily lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at recent medical journal publications and see if we can find out if and how various cannabinoids can help support normal spinal functions.
Cannabinoid receptors are located on nearly every cell of the human body, including bone, muscles, and other areas of the spine.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause lifestyle changes, usually for the negative.
Since cannabinoids are deemed an essential nutrient, having a cannabinoid deficiency can cause all sorts of normal body functions to become unbalanced, specifically homeostasis.
Homeostasis can be described in lots of interesting ways.
I’ve heard homeostasis described as a buffering system that can be understood as a type of pillow or cushion padding that slows down the body from instantly experiencing a microscopic invasion.
One of the most simple definitions of homeostasis was when I had a casual chat with Dr. David Allen, Dr. Allen, from my off the top memory of our discussion explains that homeostasis regulates death. Dr. Allen continued patiently explaining that If anything in your body gets too high or too low, you die.
The basic anatomy of the spine involves bones, nerves, blood vessels, fat, ligaments, tendons, and more. Consisting of 33 individual bones, the spine operates like a series of connected joints all connected and acting like telephone lines communicating movement and control sensations.
The EndoCannabinoids System (ECS) plays key roles in bone, nerve, muscle, and many more different types of cells.
Bone remodeling removes mineralized bone. The remodeling bone cycle involves resorption (digesting old bone), reversal, and formation.
In order to meet the constantly changing needs of the mechanical components, bone remodeling adjusts the architecture of the bone and also helps repair different micro-damaged components in the bone matrix.
This prevents the old bone from accumulating.
This mechanism also has a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of plasma calcium.
In the medical journal Frontiers In Cellular Neuroscience, they go into extensive details about how the ECS plays a key role in the brain.
This key brain role controls normal functioning of mood, feeling perception, learning, memory, and more.
A patent owned by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlines a comprehensive understanding of the role cannabinoids have in the spinal cord, the Central Nervous System (CNS), and more.
What CBD products support normal back and spine function?
The two basic methods of taking CBD are by an internal dose or via from applying it to your external body.
CBD can be taken internally via tincture drops, capsules, edibles, suppositories, and much more. External CBD products are creams, salves, lotions, and much more.
Most users begin with CBD oil tincture drops because they’re the easiest to get started with.
The best way to figure out your CBD dosage for normal spine functions recommends you start at the lowest dose possible and gradually increase until you’ve achieved the results.
Will CBD help normal spine function after Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBBS)?
Recently published in the Journal Of Pain Research (J Pain Res.) show remarkable results in helping restore the normal feeling of the spine.
In this journal, they define FBBS as spinal pain from an unknown origin that can persist even after surgery or having new pain appear after surgical intervention.
Potential causes of FBBS.
- Epidural fibrosis
- Global or lateral canal stenosis
- Foraminal stenosis
- Retained disc fragment
- Recurrent disc herniation or degeneration
- Spinal instability
- Facet joint pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Adhesive arachnoiditis
- And others
The journal continues explaining how even though opioids usually have positive results, there’s a demand increasing for alternative strategies by both the patients and clinicians due to some available strategies assessed as marginally effective or tolerated poorly.
Results showed that all participants had an improvement of normal sleep, as well as mood enhancement.
Other areas studied that shifted backs towards higher degrees of normalcy in general activities, normal walking, normal work, normal relations with others, and more normal enjoyment of life.