In Part 3, I explained what you can do to minimise micro-trauma of your discs from a biomechanical perspective and therefore, help to prevent a disc prolapse.
In this post, I will explain tissue healing rates and how that affects your lumbar discs.
If you look at the green line on the graph, it represents the gradual reduction in tissue healing capacity as we age. The good news is that you can reduce the rate at which your tissue healing slows down. The bad news is that you can also speed up the rate at which your tissue healing rates slow down.
So if your tissue-healing rate slows down, each time you have micro-trauma, there will be less healing and amount of tissue damage will increase. If this continues, the time taken before your discs fail will be sooner rather than later. The more trauma to the discs, the less tensile strength they will have.
So how can you maximise your tissue-healing rate and what would reduce tissue-healing rates?
Tissue healing comes down to the following:
- Nutrition & Hydration
- Sleep, Rest & Relaxation
The body is made from the foods and drinks you consume. Very simply, you can’t create a healthy body from eating a poor quality diet. If you eat meats, fish, fruits and vegetables that have not been raised and grown organically, then your body has to detoxify the toxins and make all your muscles, tendons, ligaments and spinal discs with lower levels of nutrients from the food.
However, if you eat a fully organic diet, consuming of fresh foods raised or grown locally, your body’s tissues will be much stronger and healthier and you’ll have all the nutrients you need for tissue-healing.
All processes in the human body require water. It is crucial you stay hydrated with good quality water (not tap water). As a minimum, we require 0.033 litres of water per kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 50kg, you’d need at least 1.67 litres of water per day. If the weather is hot or you are exercising, you will require more water.
If you consume drinks that dehydrate you like caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, you will again reduce your tissue-healing rate.
It is also imperative to understand that you do your healing when you are resting at night. Our growth hormones raise after dark and when we are resting. It is therefore crucial to get adequate rest at night in a dark environment. This means avoiding artificial lights after dark and getting to bed by 10-10.30pm each evening and having at least 8 hours sleep.
So, the better your diet and hydration and the better your rest and recovery, the greater chance you have of never having a prolapsed lumbar disc.
In summary, if you optimise your muscle balance, spinal stability, strengthen your body to survive the demands of your lifestyle, eat high quality foods and get adequate rest and sleep, then your lumbar discs might last 90 years.
If you fail to minimise cumulative trauma and fail to maximise tissue healing, your lumbar discs might last several decades less.
If you want to avoid prolapsed lumbar discs (76% of the population already have bulging discs), then call us to find out how we can help. If you already have prolapsed lumbar discs, give us a call to find out how we can help you get back to a fully functioning body and a fully active lifestyle.