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Degeneration of the Spinal Structure.

As we age, degeneration of the spinal vertebrae and discs is as much a part of life as the gradual changes we notice with weakening eyesight and hearing.

Degeneration can, however, become extremely painful. More than 90% of the population aged over forty experiences some form of degeneration during their lifetime. It is essentially a slow process of ‘wear and tear’ of the spinal discs that support your vertebrae, causing them to rub against each other or slip out of place thereby pressing on the nerves in your spinal cord.

Whilst degeneration is more typical of the ageing process, it can also be brought on by old and/ or recurring problem not treated properly which has a tendency to accelerate the onset of degenerative disease.

Most commonly referred to as either ‘spinal arthritis’, ‘spinal degeneration’ or ‘spondylosis’, it is by far the most common cause of spinal conditions that force sufferers to seek medical help.

The first symptom of spinal or disc degeneration is usually lower back pain which radiates to the buttocks, hips and upper thighs.  How quickly spinal degeneration progresses depends on your own unique individual genetic makeup, posture, level of physical activity or inactivity, occupation, dietary factors, your individual weight and contributing medical conditions. Or the way you treat it to address the issues in your muscles that contribute greatly to it.

As your spine ages, you may experience loss of flexibility, a loss of bone density, fractures from minor traumas, a feeling of stiffness, difficulty with bending and twisting, difficulty walking, discomfort or pain after long periods of either sitting or standing, pain after lifting heavy objects and pain that travels down one leg (sciatica).  Strange how these things all tie in with circulation and muscle condition isn’t it?

The spine can be affected in any one of its areas by degeneration. When it affects the vertebrae of the neck, it is known as cervical disc disease. When the mid region of the spine (middle back) is affected, it is known as thoracic disc disease. When it affects the lower back it is referred to as lumbago and when the pain radiates down the leg, it is referred to as sciatica.

The process of spinal degeneration usually starts in any one of these areas and then gradually spreads to the other levels over time.

Degeneration in women speeds up when estrogen production slows down and likewise, in men, when their production of testosterone declines between the ages of 45 – 50.

Pain from degenerative disease caused by instability and inflammation of the degenerated discs needs to be addressed. An SLM trained therapist will be able to provide significant pain relief by way of improving blood flow, reducing muscle stiffness, addressing and correcting underlying muscle imbalances, relaxing muscles enough to improve their range of motion, re-teaching correct postural alignment  and raising endorphin levels in the body (which helps improve mood and decrease the psychological impact of chronic pain).

Generally, an overall, full body approach is needed to re-balance the muscle system in your back until around the age of 60 when degenerative disease subsides and is usually no longer painful. The goal for people experiencing pain from degeneration should be to control their pain and other symptoms enough that it does not adversely affect their quality of life and helps them to avoid back surgery.


"Hi Steve ,
The book and DVD have arrived and I have tried the exercises for 2 days only and not fully at that .While I am not wanting to get carried away ,some of my worst pain has gone today and I have been suffering for more than a year and paid out hundreds of dollars on treatment .If only this can continue !! "

Don Pearce

"Hi Steve,
Thank you for all the help you have given through your emails. I actually live in England but saw your site on how to help sciatica, so thought I would give the instant relief a go as I had been unable to relieve the pain any other way. I was having chiropractic help but did as you suggested with the balls and I found great relief from doing this exercise, it really does work!! Luckily my back has returned to normal now but I continue to work with the balls, so thank you again for the great help, so simple yet effective.
Regards "

Chery Murphy

"Thank you for your help Mr Lockhart. My back has permanent damage but your instant relief method with the balls has helped tremendously.
Many thanks for your help. "

Colin Horney

Dear Steve,
"I have been following you advice and getting great results.... The double tennis ball and roller have been very beneficial in the treatment and I an doing well. Thank you for your help."

Cheers, David Peel Moorooka QLD

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Sciatica pain, back pain sydney

About Us is a site created to inform people who suffer from sciatica and back pain about the real cause of their problem and the options available for their successful treatment

All of the information has been written by Steve Lockhart, the creator of the SLM Bodywork treatment method and a successful therapist with over 20 years practical experience at fixing all types of chronic pain.

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