Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
What is a Slipped Disc?
A slipped disc, bulging disc, or disc prolapse can be one of the most painful physical complaints. The disc (or disk) in this case is a jelly-like pancake of cushioning material that sits between each of the vertebrae of the spine, serving to cushion and protect those bones as well as the spinal cord and individual nerves that run between them.
Over time or with trauma, these disks can bulge or tear (a herniated disc), reducing their effectiveness and allowing bones to rub against each other or nerves to become aggravated, resulting in back pain (the most obvious of the symptoms of a slipped disc) that can be intense and constant. Most often, this occurs in the lower back and results in low back pain.
A slipped disc can heal on its own if the damage is limited and it is given a chance to rest. More severe slipped discs in the back that progress to herniated discs will need more help, perhaps including surgery, if they are to heal.
Natural Cures for a Slipped Disc
Weight loss will take some pressure off the spine, especially if the herniated disc is low on the back (which is typical). Chiropractic treatment has shown some promise if the condition is addressed early on, before the nerves have been damaged. Anti-inflammatory herbs can help relieve pressure on the area, as could massage and infrared treatments. Cold and/or warm compresses can relieve the pain.
COPPER TO TOUGHEN HERNIATED DISCS
ABSTRACT Copper is part of lysyl oxidase, which is the enzyme that cross links elastin tissue. The strength of elastin depends on its cross links (Sandberg). Upper spinal discs are made of elastin. Therefore it is imperative that copper status be brought up to normal before an operation. Sometimes an operation will not even be necessary if this is done. Copper status must be kept normal thereafter in order to prevent a recurrence by total intake of at least 3 mg per day.
Herniated discs are the most painful, and numerous diseases in modern society. Slipped or herniated discs are estimated to cost more than 200 billion dollars directly and indirectly each year in the USAalone [http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/pdf/10.2217/14750708.4.1.51 ]. I suspect that copper deficiency status is the most important parameter affecting them. Two hundred and eighty patients having back pains were treated with copper salicylate. A majority was believed to have a slipped disc. Improvements were considerable and rapid [Sorenson & Hangarter]. Restoring copper during that disease is imperative.
Therefore increasing copper intake should have a dramatic effect on our collective health. Copper should always be made adequate even when a disc operation is in order. If the copper status is unknown, there should be at least a week of 6 mg total intake per day prior to the operation, or at least high in copper foods such as shellfish or liver, especially sheep liver. There should not be great danger if there is a concurrent bacterial infection because a depleted liver removes free copper from the blood with extreme rapidity, [Peisach, et al], so the danger of bacterial stimulation is probably not acute. Even so, using ceruloplasmin injections might be a safer way during such an infection because copper is tightly bound in ceruloplasmin.
CAUSES of COPPER DEFICIENCY
That copper is below optimum in a large number of people is virtually certain from current evidence. This is caused by the low copper content of dairy products, loss of copper by removal of the germ from grain, and refining of sugar. Fructose (corn syrup) and sucrose sugar in fruit apparently produces a much greater need for copper once in the body [Reiser] [Fields & Lewis]. Treating vegetables with the chelating agent, ethylene diamine tetraacetate, reduces both their copper and their zinc to 20% of original values [Pfeiffer, 1972, p161]. Eating large amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid or ascorbate) is thought to interfere with utilization of copper within the body [Harris 1991][Underwood p71] although Evans thinks the problem is that absorption is decreased [Evans 1973b]. Vitamin C does cause greater excretion of copper via the bile and decreased absorption [Van Den Berg], so these may be the main mechanisms for vitamin C's interfering with copper. Vitamin C causes ruptures of the aorta in copper deficient animals [Owen]. Vitamin C inhibits copper sulfate injection to stimulate lysyl oxidase under a deficiency of copper if given before or at the same time as copper sulfate injection. But, strangely, if given 75 minutes later, accentuates copper's affect in stimulating lysil oxidase [Di Silvestro, 1981].
The strength of collagen is not as badly affected because of the long length of collagen molecules close order enabling hydrogen bonds to be affective. However inadequately cross linked collagen is subject to creep. The discs below the sacroiliac of the spine are composed of collagen. The strength of pig or chick tendon is little affected by copper deficiency, even though the animals are dying of ruptured aortas and even though the tendons have 70% the cross links of normal [O'Dell] [Chou]. The normal lesser number of cross links are desirable nevertheless, for they permit the tendons to return to their original position after stress is relieved and not to cold flow as polymers held together only by hydrogen bonds do. The number of cross-links is probably optimum, because too many would make the tendon brittle. Too few cross-links would cause the tendon to become slack with time. Thus the body has a tough material which approaches steel in strength weight for weight and bones which are almost as strong as cast iron (I do not know how cross linked bone collagen is although both bone and tendon are type I collagen [O'Dell]). The lesser reliance by tendon collagen on cross-linking for strength may be the reason why the body uses collagen to repair lesions in arteries during a copper deficiency instead of elastin [Waisman, et al]. Such a strategy may be a good immediate expedient for survival, but I suspect it results in an intractable hypertension eventually because collagen is much less rubbery or elastic than elastin. It is conceivable that something like that goes on to a lesser extent in spinal discs. It might be a good idea to find out
Ankylosing spondilitis probably heals slowly because the sacral and ileal joints are made of type I cartilage [Paquin, et al].
COPPER AFFECT on the SPINAL NERVE SHEATH and FLUID
A copper deficiency produces a degeneration of the spinal cord involving the sheath around the nerve fibers, It is similar to the degeneration caused by a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Winston and Jaiser have proposed that the similarity is because of a dysfunction of the methylation cycle, which is dependant on vitamin B-12 catalyzed enzymes and may be dependant on copper catalyzed enzymes also [Winston]. Methionine synthase requires copper and they suggest that s-adenosylhomocysteine may be regulated by copper.
There is raised copper in the cerebrospinal fluid during Parkinson's disease [Beshgetoor]. Perhaps copper should be investigated for Parkinson's disease.
[YEA] Remedy: Hyaluronic Acid (small molecule), Collagen, Chondroitin
I have a herniated disc at location L4-L5. I'm in my 50s and have had it for 5 years. I tried glucosamine chondroitin with some Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in the past but I think the reason it did not help was the dosage and maybe stomach acid a little. I even tried to bounce on a ball to exercise my spine to get moisture into the spine but it didn't work. I realized that my body needed some nutrient. I was stumped.
I had been looking on and off for years on supplements for synovial fluids. The first failure with the supplement kind of dashed my hope. This past month, I did read Ted's post and saw that he was having success with 4 grams of horse HA in a solution divided up over 14 days with many people. I also read other posts on internet indicating that HA has positive effect on synovial fluid so I upped my dose and made sure I used small molecule kind.
I have taken the supplment for the last 7 days at a dosage of 5 caps in morning and 5 caps at bedtime which totals 500mg HA, 5000mg collagen 2000mg chondroitin per day. My back has dramatically improved. I could actually feel improvement after 2 days.
I can't tell you at this point whether it has cured my herniated disc but I don't feel that pain when bending. I will evaluate my progress every two months. I was hesitant about posting too soon but given the result so far, it should be the first supplement you take for this condition because it hits at the root of why the condition came about. You should get some chiropractor treatments if you have never done so.
I am lowering the dose to 6 caps a day and plan to keep taking it for at least a year. I am thinking that the body may now have everything it needs to heal naturally so I will just be patient and let nature do its job. I will adjust to fewer capsules if I see enough improvement in other areas also. I developed aged spots. That is another sign of deficiency. Maybe it will improve my eyes also.
The formula I use with small molecule Hyaluronic Acid also includes collagen and chondroitin. I am using Biocell. Many products use their stuff. Shop for the best price but make sure it contains the small molecule HA. Be aware that stomach acid neutralizes HA so take on empty stomach.
It should be noted that HA is another form of glucosamine except that it is much more effective. Glucosamine is for all practical purposes obsoleted by Hyaluronic Acid.