For over 15 years, Dr. Ken Hansraj, www.drken.us, has dedicated his career to the eradication of spine problems. He discusses his book and core factors and strategies that can be applied to immediately improve the quality of spinal health:
Q.Why did you decide to write a book titled “Keys to An Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine?
With 4 out of 5 people suffering at some point in their life, globally, spine problems are one of the most common reasons to visit a physician. Cost of care in the United States is approximately 115 billion dollars a year. Intelligent people from all walks of life want to know what makes up the spine, what problems could arise, and what lifestyle, conservative treatment, and surgical options are available. “Keys to An Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine” was written with the everyday person in mind and consists of cutting-edge descriptions of every option that is available.
Q. What role do lifestyle changes play in helping spine problems?
Lifestyle options enhance human performance in all aspects of a person’s life. Want to feel good and do more? Lifestyle options include the power of a positive thought, the danger of a negative thought, the importance of neural plasticity, amygdala plasticity, general thinking, and physical action and responses. Deep belly breathing, meditation, silence, solitude, stillness, thought, affirmations, and happiness are all free daily options that influence spine health.
Good posture; planning; drinking water; napping; sleeping properly; getting up early; long, hot showers; avoidance of bending, lifting, twisting, and reaching are all examples of free everyday physical options that contribute to spinal health. The dangers of cigarette smoking, with permanent destruction of disc spacing, and cumulative risk for diseases are clearly shown. Wholesome food options are important.
Q. Does meditation play a role in reducing pain?
Speak to the mother of the nerve! Many people, even physicians believe that the brain and spine are separate. The spinal cord and nerve roots bring and carry information to the brain. Meditation has been shown to modify the structure of the brain therefore carrying a better message to the spine and body.
Recent studies with functional MRI scans show that with meditation the physical structure of the brain changes positively. The frontal thinking cortex becomes thicker and the reactive, reptilian emotional brain becomes smaller. The corpus collosum which connects right and left brain becomes thicker.
Q. What role do OTC topical analgesics play for your patients in reducing pain?
I believe that OTC topical analgesics can help a person to diminish inflammation, resume activities, and restore function in life. Using a transdermal patch or other topical medication, like a spray or gel, provides an alternative for pain sufferers, including those who prefer to avoid the use of oral over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication labeled for minor aches and pains. Unlike medications from pills, which must travel through the digestive and circulatory system before reaching their target, the transdermal pain patch goes direct to the site of your pain – providing fast relief right where it hurts.
Most people don’t realize that pills provide a lot of medication to the body – often more than the amount needed to simply dull the pain. This excess medicine must be included, because the liver acts as the body’s filter and knocks out about one third of the medicine you take orally. The remaining medicine must then be spread throughout the entire body, because your body doesn’t know that you are only trying to treat your sore knee or strained shoulder. With a topical, you can deliver much less medicine to the body because you’re applying it directly at the site of pain.
Q.What are the top five ways people can strengthen their spine?
- Posture training and strengthening
- Yoga – sun salutation especially upward and downward dog