Eating with a Herniated Disc

vitamin c

While the severity, frequency and duration of herniated disc symptoms vary by the individual, there is one thing that all sufferers of the condition can do: use the power of nutrition. The diet for a herniated disc relates to the anatomy of the injury. Spinal discs are made of 2 layers: 

  • The outer layer, called the annulus fibrosus, is designed for durability and is made up of layers of strong collagen fibers. 
  • The inner layer, called the nucleus pulposus, is responsible for the shock absorption. This layer is composed of loose fibers that allow the spine its range of motion. 

A herniated disc essentially means that the annulus fibrosus is cracked, allowing the nucleus pulposus to leak out and push against the compromised area. If this bulge is significant, it will put pressure on the nearby nerve roots, creating the discomfort, stiffness and pain that is associated with the condition. 

A diet to ease these symptoms and encourage more rapid healing therefore begins with the cracking of the annulus fibrosus, a structure composed of cartilaginous material. There are nutrients that you can consume to support the regrowth and maintenance of healthy cartilage. Foods that are good for herniated disc sufferers are those rich in:

  • Glucosamine-sulfate: helps the body produce chemicals that catalyze the repair of cartilage.
  • Vitamin C: helps the body form the protein collagen, an essential element in the production of cartilage.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: to help with the pain and stiffness, consuming anti-inflammatory ingredients is a good place to start. 
  • Sulfur-rich foods: to help maintain the integrity of connective tissue. 

At Holmes Chiropractic, we support a multi-dimensional and natural approach to healing herniated discs. Combining chiropractic adjustment with the potency of nutrition and the vitality restored with corrective exercise and stretching, you can ease the severity of your symptoms. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

A Herniated Disc

herniated disc

In extreme cases, a herniated disc can be so advanced, causing so much pain that surgery is advisable. More often however, a herniated disc will heal itself in a matter of months if the right steps are taken toward treatment and management: it can either be the tip of the iceberg for a life altering condition or a wake up signal that says you need to start taking care of your back. A herniated disc is a common spinal problem that involves the intervertebral discs that accentuate the vertebrae in the spine. Made up of cartilaginous material, these discs provide shock absorption and prevent bones from grinding upon eachother. What happens when these discs, as with any piece of fine-tuned machinery, degrade over time? 

Herniation is a logical outcome: the outer layer of the intervertebral disc bulges or breaks, allowing the softer core to leak out, putting pressure on nearby nerves that are exiting the spinal column. This nerve impingement is responsible for the pain that is being signaled to your brain. The main causes of herniation involve, among others:

  • Wear and tear 
  • Age 
  • Acute injury
  • Poor posture

Symptoms vary as exemplified by the fact that pain and discomfort involved with a herniated disc can range from non-existent to severe and can cause conditions like sciatica which affect the extremities. Herniated discs usually respond well to the flexion-distraction modality: using a specialized table, we encourage the bulging material to recenter itself and stop pressing on the nerve. Using this and other methods including muscle stimulation, corrective stretching, nutrition and exercise, we help reduce the amount of inflammation in the area, easing your pain.

For people looking to manage their herniated disc the natural way, call our office in Houston at (713) 862-2440.

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

Hungry for Health

fish oil

Eating healthfully can be as convenient as eating conveniently. Understanding vitamins, minerals, fats and sugars is one of the greatest ways to arm yourself against the degeneration that comes with injury or age. Nutrition is of great value to the chiropractor because it only enhances the adjustment and joint treatment aspects of our practice. 

A microcosmic example: eating food that fights inflammation. This is a way that chiropractic and diet synergize to reduce pain and stiffness for the chronic inflammation sufferer. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to block the body’s production of key inflammatory cytokines. Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids are also known for being rich with anti-inflammatory properties. They are an essential fat that the body cannot produce by itself, and they have been shown to have a collaborative effect with aspirin that is normally prescribed for pain management. 

This was not a story about arthritis, but rather, an example of how nutrition can be used to greatly enhance the efficacy of any health plan. At Holmes Chiropractic, we offer a natural method of dealing with chronic inflammation and we can help you institute small lifestyle changes that will get you the ingredients you need to help your body fight back. We look forward to hearing from and helping you accomplish any health objective that you set. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

The Story of Subluxation


Subluxation is a complicated sounding word for a relatively simple concept. We start by imagining the spine as 24 separate vertebrae rather than one long bone. Accentuating each vertebrae, to ensure they don’t grind on eachother outright, are intervertebral discs made up of cartilaginous material. Diverging from the spinal cord, which is the nervous system’s super highway, are nerve roots that supply energy to the organs, tissues and glands of our bodies. Over time, due to repetitive trauma, acute injury, or a host of other factors, the intervertebral disc can be compromised, allowing for compression of the nerve roots. Up to this point, you may have been unaware that any deterioration was occurring, but now you can distinctly feel the pain and swelling that restricts movement.

At Holmes Chiropractic, we are more than familiar with this story. We correct subluxation with chiropractic adjustment, restoring balance to the back and removing compression from the nerves. By focusing our attention on massaging injured tissues, we speed the healing process and reduce inflammation. Before you know it, your are back on your feet feeling freer than ever: chiropractic is particularly good at restoring lost range of motion and flexibility. 

Our goal is to determine the true cause of your health problems and, if possible, correct it so that you can live your greatest life possible. Call our office in Houston and find out what we can do for you today. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.

Sleep and Stay Happy


How can we define healthy sleep? A period of rest, recovery and reprieve. The stresses of the day melt away into a dreamscape that brings serenity and rejuvenation to minds that are often caught up in the fast pace of the daytime. For too many people, this is not their reality: sleep is a struggle, to fall and to stay asleep, to switch the mind off and forget about the day gone by and the one to come, is an impossibility. There are myriad factors, some physical, some mental, some emotional and some completely intangible, that contribute to a good night’s sleep. What is known is that a healthy sleep life means a happy waking life. 

Benefits of regular, restful sleep:

  • Better cognitive function 
  • Less stress
  • Longer life
  • Improved immunity
  • Improved memory
  • Better athletic performance
  • Healthier weight with less fluctuation

As rates of sleeplessness soar, so to does the rate of prescription and over-the-counter remedies which propound themselves as a cure all that delivers the above benefits, while the side-effects are kept in small print and rarely discussed. At Holmes Chiropractic, we want to offer you a natural, alternative path: to focus on fixing pre-existing physical limitations and changing your lifestyle to create a more healthy sleep program. 

Chiropractic works to help you by regulating blood circulation and correcting misaligned vertebrae. Essentially, we ensure that your body is in conducive shape for sleeping by regulating the nervous system, the network for communication between brain and body. From here, we help you evaluate your lifestyle and find things that may be holding you back from a good night’s sleep such as too much of the wrong food before bed or too much electronic exposure in the pre-sleep hours.

Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep; let’s start changing your sleep health for the better today. Call our office in Houston at (713) 862-2440. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.

Back to School Tips

back to school

It may be hard to believe that summer is going by so fast, but it quickly becomes a reality when the first week of school rolls around. Whether your child is returning for another year, or leaving the nest and moving into a dorm for the first time, it is important to remember that keeping your spine healthy will make the brain function better! Here are some natural health tips for back-to-school week: 

  • Find a good back pack: we covered some backpack etiquette in the last post, but finding a well-fitting backpack is key. We can evaluate the child’s body type and help you make an economical and healthy decision on which pack to buy for your child. 
  • Create an ergonomic study zone: while the classroom furniture may be out of your control, help your child by creating a healthy work zone at home. Not only will it help their spine, it will also make them more motivated and excited to learn if their study room is cool and comfortable. 
  • Teach, or let us teach, your child the importance of good posture. School requires a lot of sitting and more and more computer time: this means more hours that can make or break the spinal health of a young body. Using good seated posture is rewarding: make your child appreciate it and they can be a trend setter for the rest of the school.
  • Pay attention to hydration and nutrition: do you know what your child eats at school? It could be affecting their physical and mental performance. Start the school year off right by making sure their immune system is boosted! 

Finally, keep your child well adjusted (the chiropractic way). At Holmes Chiropractic, we believe every child is capable of great things. We want to help them by removing nerve interference and optimizing the nervous system so that brain and body can grow unencumbered. Give our office a Houston a call and set up an appointment to make sure your child is entering the school year with an advantage. 

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C. 

A Well-Adjusted Backpack…


…makes all the difference in your child’s spinal health during the school year. Day after day of schlepping a heavy backpack around will take its toll, especially on small backs and cores that have not developed the muscles necessary to cope with such heavy loads. In fact, many adults are also suffering from the burden brought on by over-stuffed backpacks and poor posture. During the school year, it may be impossible to avoid bringing a heavy backpack to school; however, observing a few simple tips can help us minimize the damage that this could be doing to our backs. 

  • Minimize the load: please carry only the bare essentials. Ideally, the bag should weigh, at most, only 15 percent of the carrier’s bodyweight. 
  • Keep the bag adjusted properly: many kids will fall victim to the trend of loosening the shoulder straps and letting the bag hang low, pulling on the muscles of the shoulders and neck.
  • Always use both straps: This will distribute the weight evenly, encourage a healthier posture and reduce the burden on the neck. 
  • Put the bag on at table height: avoid bending over to pick up the bag, or slinging it on your shoulder.

The best bag is an empty bag. For parents concerned with the toll that heavy backpacks may be taking on their child’s spine, give our office in Houston a call. We offer the ergonomic advice that will help you find a properly-suited bag and help you wear it properly and proudly. We can be reached at (713) 862-2440.

Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.