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Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Supplements do you Recommend for Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain?

Hi Gary,
Could you please advise me on the supplements eg glucosamine etc I need. I am 54 & have chronic lower backache & do get neck ache/tension. 3 mths ago had a lifting injury & MRI showed C6 & 7 disc prolapse pinching on Lt fingers. Had acupuncture/massages, & did not require surgery. Would appreciate yr input.Thank you.
Gary responds:
Your story has familiar patterns with many of the cases that I see in person, so let's make use of that experience. Why does an apparently healthy woman suffer such serious damage doing what was previously innocuous activities? And why is recovery so slow and incomplete?

Soft Body Syndrome

The chronic pain and even the cervical disk damage can be associated with what I call "Soft Body Syndrome" (SBS). It is very common, especially in women as the years pass and is due to a diet that appears healthy but the reality is that she is lacking many nutrients. While youthfulness enables one to get by all it takes is a child or two or a period of forced weight loss, as examples, to throw her into a chronic nutrient crisis.

This may show in many ways including frustrating ailments of the digestive tract, chronic fatigue, depression, underactive thyroid, weight gain, tendonitis, muscle pain, osteoporosis and even disintegration of intervertebral disks.

Where has all the Sunshine gone?
A related close association with a softening body is chronic vitamin D deficiency which is a definite factor in bone, joint and muscle pain, including back pain. Go here for more about this. Vitamin D deficiency, courtesy of "single issue" Cancer Societies and blinkered Health Authorities, is now rampant within Western populations.

Iron Low?
Very often, there is a history of iron deficiency. Unless she has a blood test showing that iron levels are near the high side of healthy, low iron levels must be assumed. Low iron levels will be indicative that many other minerals within the body are equally deficient. This can best be measured with a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis which can be ordered through me.

Not enough Vitamin C?
Weak tissue bruises easily, so a woman who shows bruising from bumping into furniture can be assumed to have SBS to some degree. Lack of vitamin C is another factor along with minerals and vitamin D.

If on a low fat diet, or a diet that is high in processed foods, including processed fats and oils then she will likely be lacking the fat soluble vitamins additional to vitamin D - Vitamins A, E & K. These all make for tissue fragility, including proliferation of spider veins and varicose veins.

Low fat food = The Kiss of Death

Where is the Coenzyme Q-10?
A low fat, carbohydrate based diet that is low in animal prodicts - typical of today - is a sure guarantee for a chronic deficiency in Coenzyme Q-10 which is central to mitochondrial activity which powers cellular metabolism. Mess with your mitochondria and you mess with your life! Early signs of deficiency includes muscle weakness, poor skin, wieght gain, blood pressure problems, tendon pain and so on - all very similar to other nutrient deficiencies such as seen with vitamin D deficiency. You can get quality Coenzyme Q-10 from my web store.

Too little protein
Another factor is protein deficiency. This is very common in women many of whom are on low meat or vegetarian diets. If there is any protein of significance, this tends to be concentrated in one meal meaning that the body may be drawing on reserves within lean tissue for the best part of 20 hours a day. The long term consequence is a gradual loss of tissue strength (SBS).

But I eat very good food every day!

Few women nowadays expend more than 2,000 calories per day. The sad fact of the matter is that even an apparently good diet that supplies 2,000 or less calories per day is sufficient to provide ample of all the nutrients that are necessary for a long and healthy life. While daily exercise workouts is the solution, this is fraught with injury and health risk if she is already deficient and weakened with SBS. It is more prudent to identify and correct any nutrient deficiencies first - then commence the additional exercise. This is all about getting the cart before the horse!
Get healthy - then workout!

You can gather from what I have written there several things you could do immediately. But I would prefer a more measured approach that is much more assured of succeess. Please gather the following information and send it all to me for analysis:
  • Get an up to date set of blood tests for general health, including lipids and iron
  • Get a blood test for vitamin D
  • Complete an Active Elements Assessment that you can access from this website
  • Obtain a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Kit from me and get the test done
  • Supply me with a 24 hour diet recall
  • List all health issues and their treatment to date
  • List all medicines and supplements being taken and their reasons
  • Describe your physique, lifestyle, occupation
Depending on requirements, a modest fee may be requested to cover my time.

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