Richmond Exercise and Manipulation May Help Get Water into Disc

January 28, 2021

Water is essential to the body. Water makes up about half of the body. The spinal disc is composed of around 80% water. Disc degeneration entails the loss of disc hydration and water. Chiropractic takes care of disc problems like disc degeneration with various forms of care. Exercise helps with water diffusion into the disc. Spinal manipulation enhances diffusion of water into the disc. Drinking water cannot but help!  Johnson Chiropractic implements spinal manipulation to take care of our spine pain patients experiencing Richmond back pain and neck pain and related leg and arm pain and recommends exercise to increase the effects of spinal manipulation to improve the health of the spinal disc.


Can exercise help the intervertebral disc in non-specific low back pain sufferers? Researchers described how muscles, tendons and bone do respond well, so they turned to the disc to see if it does.  One new study employed imaging to learn. On T2-weighted MRI imaging after 6 months of exercise in the patient with non specific low back pain, the researchers did not discover a benefit; however, at 3 months the imaging showed increased L5S1 diffusion coefficients. They explained that other types of low back pain sufferers may respond differently. (1) That’s noteworthy. The increased 'apparent diffusion coefficients' is promising yet when we read other articles about diffusion of water into the disc. Wong described that non-specific low back pain patients who responded with greater than 30% relief to spinal manipulation therapy compared with non-responders demonstrated a higher apparent diffusion coefficient for disc diffusion of water. (2) If exercise can enhance that even a little, it has a spot in neck and back pain management. If nothing else, a Richmond back pain sufferer may well improve the odds of responding to conservative care by maximizing the water content of disc with exercise and spinal manipulation!


Studies of manual therapy and traction effects on the intervertebral disc in back pain patients showed that there is an impact on the physiology (the structure and function) of the disc mainly via water diffusion and molecular transport. Both of these are vital for a healthy disc. (3) Beattie reported that changes in the diffusion of water within the the L1-2, L2-3, and L5S1 discs were observed after only one treatment of spinal manipulation. (4) Johnson Chiropractic utlilizes the gentle distraction treatment called Cox Technic spinal manipulation to make a push-pull-pumping effect on the disc and its endplates to encourage imbibition of fluid into the disc help our Richmond spine pain patients.

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Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. James Cox on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he further describes the process of disc degeneration and how Cox® Technic Flexion Distraction helps in its care via manipulation.

Set up your Richmond chiropractic appointment today. Your body survives on water. Degenerated discs lose water. Johnson Chiropractic guides Richmond chiropractic patients toward healthier discs with spinal manipulation and exercise to enhance water content. 

Johnson Chiropractic uses spinal manipulation and exercise to enhance the diffusion of water into the disc which supports the health of the disc.