It’s All About the Disc
The Gonstead Technique recognizes that proper intervertebral disc function is the foundation to a healthy spine and nervous system. Many people think that the disc is the sock absorber or “spring” of the joint. Although the disc has some shock absorption properties, it is often harder than the bones around it. The primary job of the disc is that of a joint spacer. The disc makes up about 1/3 of the hole where the delicate spinal nerve exits the spine. Because the disc is a joint spacer, it must stay as thick as possible. Proper disc spacing allows normal mechanics of the spine and optimal nerve function. Because the disc has a poor blood supply, the way it stays nice and thick is by a hydraulic pumping action called imbibition. This healthy movement pattern hydrates the disc and provides nutrients and extracts waste products in and out of the disc. The last design point is the nucleus pulposus at the center of the disc. This nucleus acts as a ball bearing and allows healthy joint motion. Any alteration in the positioning of the nucleus or bone above the nucleus alters proper joint mechanics. Poor mechanics leads to breakdown or excessive wear over time. Healthy joint motion is critical for structure, function, and longevity. Since the spinal curves are primarily formed by the discs, the spinal curves are corrected by focusing on repositioning the disc to a healthy alignment. Regardless of age, when spinal damage goes uncorrected, this process is called Subluxation Degeneration. Researchers recognize several phases of spinal decay.