Degenerative Disc Disease - by Kim Wise.
The histogenesis of bone which is the differentiation of cells into specialized tissues and organs during growth; is a fascinating study on its own merit in the understanding of disease phenomena of bone such as in spinal stenosis.
Primarily bone growth is dependent upon the mechanical forces applied to it as well the chemistry surrounding the cells. Making Haversian Systems throughout the bone by depositing bone in lines perpendicular to the forces applied to it in concentric rings like the rings of a tree in a transverse section. This architecture gives the bone strength.
In spinal stenosis, the bone growth and deposits of calcium are equally a result of the forces applied to central aspects of the adjacent vertebra, ligamentum flavum, discs and apophyseal joints. The resultant pressure on bone is from the poor neuromuscular organisation of the whole system. More common in the aged population because it is the end point of this long-standing degenerative disc disease. Spinal stenosis is NOT a result of age but of poor FUNCTION over many years.
Spinal Stenosis is more common in cervical and lumbar curves; the Primary curves. If we can decrease compressive forces especially in these areas we can arrest the further development of spinal stenosis. Feldenkrais Method® is so worth a go before surgery. Surgery is the worst option IMHO. So invasive, and would cause the neuromuscular system to just do more of what it is doing that creates the stenosis in the first place. Always remember function precedes structure beginning at a cellular level. In some circumstance’s symptoms are severe enough to consider surgery, such as numbness, paralysis and urinary incontinence.
When joints stop moving the body brain feels it and creates it and all the cells react and transform accordingly in an exact response to their immediate environment. The cells respond by laying down calcium and bone when there is no movement.
Kim had all of above after hitting the corner edge of a concrete gutter on her sacrum at 85 kms per hour when she was 20yrs old. Kim was a BSc Anatomist student in her last year of University at the time of the accident. As a direct result of Kim’s education, she refused 5 spinal surgeries to include a sacral canal exploration and nerve root decompression. After 9 years as a cripple in a steel brace, Kim found the Feldenkrais Method®. Doing back flips from headstands when she graduated!! That was 43 years ago and she still runs her cattle and horse property alone without back pain or dysfunction.
“Kim walks her talk”.
Kim did two of four years studying histology at University while doing her Bachelor of Science Anatomy Major. Both Mammalian and Comparative histology. And Kim has not stopped studying. “The more you learn, the more you learn what you don’t know”.
This is a great window and Kim wishes to encourage Feldenkrais practitioners to study this subject to help in the understanding of why “what we do works”.
Kim’s fool proof Functional Integration®/Awareness Through Movement® plan is simple for degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. Lengthen the extensors in 100 different ways only while flexing first, working on breathing patterns and TMJ. (eyes in and out too!) Once those bad habits are overcome of the primitive patterns such as the bite reflex and the Moro Reflex which ultimately SHORTEN and COMPRESS the spine. The spine will have lengthened enough to begin to add extension and then side flexion, go back to breathing and TMJ each progress, and finally to rotation.
STAY with the neuro-developmental model, begin at the foundation first, follow a newborn baby through each developmental layer. Always as complexity rises attend to TMJ and breath. Often these people hold their breath and clench their jaw just by paying attention, before they do anything else. They need to learn how they stop breathing before they can breathe again.
Alexander Yanai #172 lesson for Feldenkrais practitioners®. There is no use them doing all the Awareness Through Movement lesson®, or even have a Functional Integration® lesson while the client holds their breath and tighten the bite/clench their jaw, crumple the space between their eyebrows. If they do persist doing that while doing Functional Movement®, all they are doing is re-enforcing their bad habits and your lesson does not have the more desired result as you might have expected.
Look at what they do before they do anything else, THAT 'State of Readiness" is what is causing the spinal stenosis. How they do what they do. Look and listen with your hands, ears and eyes.
The how, of solidifying fascia.