“That’s a Beautiful Spine You Have”

Let's face it.  I'm human.  I enjoy a good compliment.  I'm happy when someone tells me they like my outfit, or they loved my music mix for class, or when they tell me I'm having a good hair day (usually when I need to wash it). But one of the best compliments ever was from my neurologist when he stood, silent, dare-I-say awestruck, staring at my lumbar MRI.

Mariska's lumbar MRI (age 36)

Doctor: "That's the best lumbar spine I've ever seen."  Apparently, the white of the disks are almost guaranteed to show some disc degeneration (i.e. compression, darkening of the image in an MRI), once you've hit 30. Emphasis on the "almost." Doctor: "Whatever it is you're doing, keep doing it." That "whatever" is Pilates (Fuse Pilates, actually), and strengthening the muscles that support your spine can prevent that "practically inevitable" disc degeneration. For contrast, here's an MRI that shows significant degenerative disc disease. See how the discs look flat and are dark in the image? That indicates a loss of fluid in the discs. What it means for the owner of this MRI is that their spine lacks a certain amount of cushioning.

Degenerative disc disease in L4-L5, L5-S1 disc (Photo from spineuniverse.com, Paul J. Slosar Jr., MD)

As we age, our spinal discs break down, or degenerate, which may result in this condition in some people. These age-related changes include the loss of fluid in the discs, reducing the ability for the discs to act as shock absorbers.  The discs can also develop tiny tears, eventually causes the disc to “slip” or break into pieces.  Ouch. Aging is inevitable. How well you do it is your choice. Stay hard core, Mariska

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Posted in Back Pain, Fuse Pilates, Pilates, Posture and tagged , , ,

All Comments (2)

  1. Jennifer says:

    this makes me happy!

  2. Jane says:

    I am inspired to keep FUSEing!