As a chiropractor, I see many patients present to the office with pain originating from a degenerated disc. The most common site for disc injuries is the lumbar spine due to the amount of weight and the ranges of motion allotted in the lower segments of the spine. Research has shown that over 50% of the population has a disc problem, and only 1-3% express symptoms.
The spinal discs were not designed to degenerate, and if they were, then 100% of the population would have disc issues. Research has found that the joints of the spine are designed to last about 140 years. The problem is that we are not moving, thinking, eating, and living congruently to our biological design. Wherever you go against the creation of a system, you will create stressors that surpass capacity.
The key to rehabbing and preventing a disc issue is to live the Max Living 5 essential lifestyle and to get back to the core of being human. There are many exercise programs at stretches on the web to help manage the symptoms of disc injury, but I believe we must practice the most basic movements of the human experience to live a pain-free life forever.
Basic Human Movements to Practice Daily
- Crawling and Rolling: These movements are the most primitive of human existence. It is through these movements that we developed the strength and neurological connections for all other actions. The problem is that we stopped performing these movements after childhood and became sedentary.
- Squatting: Before we could take steps, we would stand and drop down to a beautiful deep squat. Now many are unable to squat effectively and without pain. Take breaks throughout the day, perform air squats, and spend time at the bottom of a deep squat.
- Lifting and hip hinge: As soon as we could, we would pick up anything and everything from the ground. It is movements where we are bending and lifting those disc symptoms usually present. Practice consciously lifting objects like sandbags and kettlebells from the ground. Then, begin adding other more advanced movements like suitcase deadlifts and stagger stance deadlifts to train neurology and further increase core strength.
- Carrying: Once we could pick objects off the ground and walk, we would carry these objects. One of the first weighted exercises I recommend to any untrained individual is a single-arm farmer’s carry. The single-arm dynamic increases the demand for core stabilization. You must pick weight from the ground and carry it before adding weight to movements like squats and overhead presses.