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  #1  
Old 05-23-2016, 01:34 AM
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Ozphysician Ozphysician is offline
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Default Reversing OA through nutrition, exercise & lifestyle changes - is this realistic ?

Hello all

Open question for the forum and I'm keen to hear any personal stories that support [or otherwise] the hypothesis.

My own thinking has turned full circle with respect to what is possible through the right nutrition, proper targeted exercise and dealing with lifestyle habits that adversely impact health

Trained in conventional medicine I have spent a lifetime criticising alternate methods for dealing with illness, injury or chronic pain. I'm not talking about the benefits of a balanced diet in mitigating risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc. That's well accepted and understood by the medical fraternity, I'm more referring to degenerative disease in the spine including arthritis.

I have accepted through my own journey that degeneration can be slowed or perhaps even halted through a focused nutrition and exercise programme, this is broadly accepted by most in the life science research community but can this be taken a step further ? Is it possible to change the biomechanics of your spine to stabilise it as the first step and then through the right nutrition and exercise "erode" osteophytic growths. If existing cartilage exists in a facet joint or knee, is it possible to build on that tissue without having to resort of biologic intervention ? The latter concept seems outrageous I know but think about it from this perspective - your body generates its own mesenchysmal cells which science has now proven in concentrated form help regenerate the meniscus of the knee. So why isn't it possible to turn your own body on to achieve this ? I'm not naïve enough to suggest you can turn a severely degenerate disc into one that is full height with a well defined nucleus pulposis. Complex avascular cellular structures like IVD's are a little different and another level of challenge

There is limited science to support this other than the anecdotal data that comes out of the self help fraternity who are keen on selling books and have too much vested interest in their arguments

So what's the view here ?
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Lumbar DDD progressing for the last 15 years
Facet joints with mild arthrosis at L4/L5 and L5/S1
Two ESI's only too afraid to have more [causal link to arachnoiditis]
Otherwise suffered in pain on and off
Recently had stem cell treatment for facets which have improved markedly
Looking at hybrid solution in the coming months
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2016, 03:57 AM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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Oh, these are such excellent questions and I've thought of them a lot. I think it's possible but, proving it scientifically is very difficult. Not that we won't keep trying though because eventually perhaps we will be able to measure things we can't today. For example, we know that dogs can smell cancer but, we still can't create a machine to duplicate what they can do naturally. Science wants to be able to duplicate results and we can't do that with dogs hahahaha...doesn't make what they can do not true though.

The will to live and the will to die also impacts our health. I've seen it so many times but, how do you quantify the mind's impact on the body or meditation's impact on the body? At least we know that science can measure it's effect because that's been done. It's just not something we can put in a bottle.

I have dealt with DDD and spinal pain for my entire life but, the last 10 years have been about pain management just to get through the day. I've tried so many things to help improve my health. I had a severely pinched off spinal cord and remember the neurosurgeon who looked at my first MRI saying he didn't understand why I wasn't worse off. He said I was at high risk for paralysis. I was able to ski and exercise and live with it for many, many years. My body figured out how to work around it I guess. I do believe that a diet that is inflammatory welcomes disease but not eating meat and dairy (both cause inflammation in the body) didn't produce a predictable reduction in my pain. I've been mostly vegetarian my whole life so perhaps it did play a part at keeping the symptoms at bay! I'll never be able to prove it. I found that juiced ginger is very helpful at reducing headaches and pain. But, what about our bones and those damn osteophytes? I've read a lot about Silica in diatomaceous earth as well as organic sources. The literature says that as we age, our need for Silica increases but, we get less and less of it from our diet because of depletions in our the soil. Silica is abundant when we are young and a depletion of it is related to aging. We need calcium to make our bones strong but, if we can't assimilate it correctly then too much calcium will make our bones brittle. We need silica to assimilate calcium and the beauty of it is that it's supposed to change into calcium when the body needs it. All this is way above my understanding of science but, I pay attention to how various supplements react in my body. I have found that Silica reduces my pain and believe that it is giving my bones, skin, nails and organs something they need. I can see it's impact on my body externally so I like to believe that it's helping my spine too. We also know that discs dehydrate as we age and that's part of the problem. I drink plenty of alkaline water and hope that helps my spine too. Drewrad has some great suggestions too. In the end, every body is so unique that I think we have to experiment with what works for us.

Maybe we just need to acknowledge that the body has secrets we will never understand or be able to quantify. It's part of the woo woo world of magic. I have faith that my body wants to heal itself and be healthy. If I give it water, sun, silica, love, relaxation etc. ... it happily responds and tries to find it's way back to a state of balance and health. It has a memory of what health looks like but, sometimes it is just too broken by disease to fix itself. But, I will never give up giving it what it needs to do it's magic and when that's not enough....there are great doctors like Dr. Clavel. He is so much more than just a neurosurgeon. I think he has great intuition about the body too.

Well, I digressed but, I think the answer is yes. But, will it be good enough for science?
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2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2016, 04:57 AM
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Ozphysician Ozphysician is offline
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you make an excellent point Cynlite - the will to live is just so powerful. At the depth of my despair some six months ago I had numerous health issues - back pain, neck pain, I have and continue to suffer from something called benign fasciculation syndrome, all of which culminated in a strong desire to end my life.

I was taking Class 2 opoids 18 hours a day, eating nothing and not interacting with anybody outside my immediate family. Only a strong faith in God and the impact it would have on my three young children and wife prevented me from taking the plunge.

My outlook has improved markedly and my will to live is stronger than ever. I take no opoids and eat almost exclusively a plant based diet. The body has fed the mind and in turn the mind is helping my body heal itself - the two are intertwined
__________________
Lumbar DDD progressing for the last 15 years
Facet joints with mild arthrosis at L4/L5 and L5/S1
Two ESI's only too afraid to have more [causal link to arachnoiditis]
Otherwise suffered in pain on and off
Recently had stem cell treatment for facets which have improved markedly
Looking at hybrid solution in the coming months
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2016, 06:22 AM
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Cynlite Cynlite is offline
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I'm so glad you made it through the worst of times! The body and the mind are indeed intertwined. I learned early on that anger and stress escalated my levels of pain to the unbearable so, I am certain that my personality changed because of pain. I learned to not engage in battles that really didn't matter and just let things go. Our ego is a part of all of us and it is like a demanding teenager wanting attention. My sister and I have learned that we have to always go back to a place of love when dealing with each other. The details of what is upsetting us is usually unimportant in the end. Everyone around us is affected by our journey through pain. It changes the entire family dynamic. Having a spiritual practice or meditation practice helps us to make it day to day I think because it is unrelenting at times.

When we have a big career and life that we worked so hard to create and it gets ripped out from under us because of illness, there is a huge amount of grief involved. I went through several years of intense depression when this all started. My family just didn't believe what was going on because I had always been the strong warrior in the family. I think it's particularly hard for men who have built strong careers too. You expect to take care of your family and when you can't because of illness, it's very hard to accept. I have seen a counselor from time to time to help take the edge off of the depression. Sometimes having a uninvolved person helps to take the pressure off our psychology so we can just cope with what your mind says is unthinkable madness.

The drugs are a blessing and a curse. I think they help in short periods of time like what I'm going through right now but, I know they will build up in my soft tissue and ultimately do just the opposite of what they are intended to do. They will add to the pain and sickness in the body. I brought herbs and tea with me to clean out my bowels before my surgery and then did the same thing several days after the surgery. I know that the anesthesia needs to come out and that my organs had to work hard to get rid of those drugs. There is a reason they always make me so sick. I will take the prescribed drugs because they are in important part of the healing process but, I'm also being sure to drink plenty of water and take as good of care of myself as I can. I'm more afraid of all the acetaminophen and nsaids than the opioids. The organs can only process so much before they start causing damage.

So, our mind, what we put into our bodies, our family, our state of peace... all are connected and we need to take care of all of it to get well and stay well. I don't think science can account for how these non-drug things will impact the healing process. I use both western medicine and naturopathic medicine in my life because I think they both have a purpose.
__________________
2006: epidural shots did nothing; 2 surgeons recommended 2 level fusion, I declined.
2007 - 2010 4 foraminotomy and cord decompression cervical surgeries and 2 endoscopic discectomy T7-T8 surgeries; total 6 with Dr. Jho (Pittsburgh,PA) My C6/C7 autofused around 2009.
2013 - 2015: epidurals 3 times (again did nothing) and 4 Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) procedures.
2016 more RFAs, hit the 10 year mark of this insanity and pain, 3 level M6-C ADR with Dr. Clavel May 19, 2016
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2016, 12:22 PM
drewrad drewrad is offline
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I read a study that people who took a regimen of glucosamine/chondroitin versus those who didn't resulted in the first group having less long term need for joint replacement surgery with marked differences in articular remodeling and better densities. There are also specific supplements that can 'claw out' spurs and redeposit the calcium where it needs to go, back in the bones themselves essentially restocking them more appropriately where they should go. So much of the food people eat is not micronutrient rich which is why people get fat because then their body wants to eat more 'food' to get more micronutrients that their diet of white starch isn't supplying.

What can act as a body solvent or cleaning agent, basically a scrubber, is heavy hydration combined with juicing lots of citrus. It seems to be a good clawing agent at promoting good bone health while denying(or removing) awkward bone activity that may result in various spur-like activity. K2 is one of many that has this purported clawing activity. It is remarkable.

There was a periodontist in the US years ago that was tired of drilling holes in children's teeth and wondered why the same children in India who never brushed their teeth had so many less problems with cavities. So he stopped his practice and, like a scientist, moved to India to observe the culture. He noticed each family had 2 to 3 dairy cows, cows who ate fresh and fast growing grass, and the children would go out and get the pails of milk from these animals everyday. What he found was that the rich loading of K2 in the milk was a bone health agent. NOT the calcium! The K2.

So he observed the action of K2 under microscope and noticed it would even claw off tartar from teeth once it was placed over it, just dissolve it. He began prescribing it to his children patients and watched as even holes in the teeth would begin re-filling in with fresh bone! This remodeling of bone made him study this dynamic even further. Apparently, it wasn't just K2's effects on bone. K2 would also claw out calcium deposits anywhere in the body where they shouldn't be from adhesions in the brain to calcifications around the vessels of the heart. And it would add to the calcium stock of the bones what it had taken from those unnatural areas. It was like a transporter, escorting calcium out of areas where it wasn't needed and depositing back into the bones.

But, it went further. The K2 was studied by culture, or cultures more exposed to it than others. Even in Japan where they don't take in a lot of calcium, they eat natto which is rich in K2 and their bone quality is resilient. The French who have always eaten a ton of butter on everything to the dismay of Western doctors and drank loads of wine, it was discovered that their rates of heart disease were far less than the US. The butter is fresh from cows eating fast growing grass. It is the sun exposure that rains down heavy into the leaf that the animals graze on that gives the butter its rich K2, also omega 3s. French butter will melt at room temperature. They place slabs of ice on it to keep it solid at restaurants so it won't melt. In addition cultures like Sweden and Norway, the people have longer limbs with a more symmetrical appearance in the face. We call this 'beauty'. Same with the children in India who have square jaws and symmetrical faces. Fetuses exposed to K2 in the womb from the mother's diet have greater, or fuller, bone development or a more complete bone development than other cultures where you see other kids who lack facial symmetry or suffer from kyphosis, etc.

The key here for us is the effect of K2 on bone health as well as removal of spurs which can put pressure on nerves. Spurs are softer than bone but are caused IMO by a lack of solvent-like removal from the body, and can be remediated by a diet rich in K2 as well as active hydration and citrus. You can see cases where the spurs begin to initially round off, then disappear.

As for cartilage, it can also be rebuilt through aggressive, long term nutrition and getting blood flow into the joint areas. It is a lifestyle you must commit yourself to in order to see the benefits. The US medical system addresses post disease with medications and surgery. It is better to get in front of these problems. Sun energy food is vital. The sun is what transmits or carries the nutrients from the soil into the leaves which are beneficial. Juicing is critical. As well as getting enough protein. I also take a ton of collagen of a variety of brands in order to rebuild the webbing of the body. I also have been on TRT for 2 years now which also helps.
__________________
Weightlifter since 12 years old, now mid-40's and figuring out this wasn't such a good idea.

Chronic back pain started in 2010 while shrugging weights that a 40 yr. old shouldn't even try.

MRI in 2012 showing L4/L5, L5/S1 herniations and L2/L3 bulge.

L5/S1 taking on new shape, chronic sciatica, etc.

DEXA bone scan performed 5/7/14 showing mild osteopenia.

Surgery performed July 9th, 2014, Dr Clavel, hybrid three level lumbar.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2016, 12:56 PM
pbrav pbrav is offline
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Interesting thoughts. Here is a link to a blog-post about the natural history of degenerative conditions of the spine. http://www.instituteforchronicpain.o...-degenerative/
Based on a few studies, it argues that degenerative spine conditions do not necessarily grow worse. In some cases it stops, and in some few cases it even gets better on its own. If this is so, then it must be possible for the body to heal itself even from quite severe spinal problems under some circumstances. Problem is, of course, we do not know what circumstances that would be - and my impression is there is not much serious research going on in that direction. There was a case study published about chondroitin and glucosamin for degenerative disc disease nearly twenty years ago, but I have not been able to find any follow up studies. I guess the professionals and students who are in a position to do serious studies, have their minds pointed in other directions.
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Considering ADR. 52 years old.
Off and on with soreness and minor pain in lower back through the years.
Herniated S1L5 august 2014.
S1L5 reduced height and partly desiccated.
Herniation has receded but I'm left with bulging disc and constant sciatica.
Still relying on pt. and core strengthening pr. mars 2015, but starting to lean towards ADR.
There's a life to be lived out there!
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2016, 01:01 PM
FutureRobot FutureRobot is offline
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As a 33 year old beginning his spine journey, this is great info - thanks guys/gals. Looks like I'm heading to the store for some k2 and glucosamine/chond.

Has anyone heard anything about MSM? I've heard good things, but also so-so stuff. I have a bad shoulder too, so trying to keep the cartilage healthy there as well.
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HIZ tear at l5 s1 with mild disc height reduction and mild dehydration.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2016, 02:19 AM
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Ozphysician Ozphysician is offline
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Default Fasting

Has anyone tried fasting ? There is some really great science now circulating on the benefits of fasting on health generally but specifically turning on the anabolic metabolism, which stimulates and promotes stem cell proliferation and turn down the leukocyte levels in the blood stream [white blood cells - main progenitor of the immune system], reducing inflammation

I have been collecting data from a number of small and somewhat obscure but independent studies on this for a few weeks and decided to try it out.

Routine which starts tomorrow my time [9 days since last PRP injections] will be as follows:

Three day fast - water only. Day 4 & 5 raw vegetables juiced. Day 6 & 7 lightly steamed vegetables. Day 8 onwards introduction of fish and eggs and un processed grains [oats etc]

Through the process I'm going to have blood draws done to see what is happening to my endocrinology [Day 3 and Day 8]. Key marker - CD34+levels


Im 6 foot and 175 pounds so I don't really have a lot of weight to lose and that is definitely not the aim, so hopefully I don't come out of it looking like a hunger strike protester

__________________
Lumbar DDD progressing for the last 15 years
Facet joints with mild arthrosis at L4/L5 and L5/S1
Two ESI's only too afraid to have more [causal link to arachnoiditis]
Otherwise suffered in pain on and off
Recently had stem cell treatment for facets which have improved markedly
Looking at hybrid solution in the coming months
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2016, 03:13 PM
drewrad drewrad is offline
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Oz, I have heard about the stem cell prolilferation post fasting, even on one day fasts. If you do them regulary, there is an on-going benefit. Its not only just about losing weight.

Before I had stem cell therapy, they wanted me eating tons of blueberries. They said it would help on the draw and my body would produce more stems.
__________________
Weightlifter since 12 years old, now mid-40's and figuring out this wasn't such a good idea.

Chronic back pain started in 2010 while shrugging weights that a 40 yr. old shouldn't even try.

MRI in 2012 showing L4/L5, L5/S1 herniations and L2/L3 bulge.

L5/S1 taking on new shape, chronic sciatica, etc.

DEXA bone scan performed 5/7/14 showing mild osteopenia.

Surgery performed July 9th, 2014, Dr Clavel, hybrid three level lumbar.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2016, 09:45 PM
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Ozphysician Ozphysician is offline
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Hey Drew

Agree - one day fasts will give you that stem cell accumulation too. I have gone to the extreme because that's my mindset and I have the time and energy to do it, but might tone it down next time if I don't get the numbers.

Im keen to see what the blood draws say tomorrow which will be day 3 of the fast, its tough but hopefully worth it.

I could go a tub of blueberries right now

Appreciate your supplements post by the way - keep them coming they are very informative
__________________
Lumbar DDD progressing for the last 15 years
Facet joints with mild arthrosis at L4/L5 and L5/S1
Two ESI's only too afraid to have more [causal link to arachnoiditis]
Otherwise suffered in pain on and off
Recently had stem cell treatment for facets which have improved markedly
Looking at hybrid solution in the coming months
Reply With Quote
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