If you could do it over, at the first sign of back pain or disc degeneration, what would you have done to prevent DDD?
Right now, I'm thinking a lot about regimens for preventing and possibly reversing early stages of DDD. From what I understand, intervertebral discs are under a continuous cycle of breakdown and regeneration, and it's only when the rate of breakdown exceeds that of regeneration that a net degeneration of the disc occurs.
Alright, so in the first part of my hypothetical regimen to prevent DDD, healthy, nutritious meals and supplementation would be immediately followed by movement of the spine in order to promote fluid and nutrient exchange within the disc.
1. Healthy diet (vague, but you can look up details on this).
2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplementation
3. Manual movement of joint in order to promote circulation/fluid exchange near discs (wobble chair, walking, physical therapy, manual hip pumping motions, and anything that can be done safely).
4. Passive, intermittent spinal mobilization (devices like the back2life would be used while reading, relaxing, or working).
5. Hot tubs/Jacuzzi use to externally try increase circulation and fluid exchange near the joint.
This first part is based on the observed phenomenon known as partitioning, which states that after meals, circulation increases disproportionately in areas that tend to store fat. (This explains why bodyfat patterns exist, ei, why some people store a lot of fat on their hips yet have very little fat on their arms.) The concept of partitioning would be used to increase circulation following meals and supplementation in order to promote nutrient flow into the damaged discs.
The second part of the hypothetical method for preventing DDD (or reversing early stage DDD) would involve reducing the breakdown within the disc. This would have to be tailored much more to the individual, but would involve...
1. Correction of musculoskeletal imbalances/poor posture which might be increasing the wear and tear on the joints. (Chiropractic, rolfing, postural training, physical therapy, etc.)
2. Ensuring that all activities are ergonomically correct to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the joints.
Alright, so this is the intense regimen that I am thinking of. Does anyone have any suggestions or additions to this?
Or, if I am missing something, what would you have done to prevent DDD?