Participants: Wynn Horsely, Agatha Thrash, Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000172
00:01 Hello, welcome to "Help Yourself to Health"
00:04 I'm Agatha Thrash, a staff physician
00:06 from Uchee Pines Institute
00:08 and we're going to be talking with you today about the back
00:12 and some things that can go wrong with the
00:14 back and make it hurt...
00:16 So we hope you will join us for this program and
00:19 that it will be a blessing to you.
00:41 Welcome to "Help Yourself to Health"
00:44 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute
00:47 and now, here's your host, Dr. Thrash
00:52 You know, the back has such a wonderful design.
00:57 When you look at it, and you know that our Heavenly Father
01:01 designed it... you know that it was made well.
01:05 Some people say that the reason we get backaches
01:08 is because we are still in the process of evolving...
01:13 and that we haven't fully achieved proper back support.
01:20 But I think, it's the way we live and what happens
01:24 to us here during our lifetime that makes us have a problem.
01:29 Now there are some back problems that are serious
01:32 and some back problems that are not so serious.
01:35 One of the not-so-serious ones is the backache that
01:40 we get when we've been tense all day.
01:42 And I'd like to have some help by my granddaughter.
01:47 This is Melissa Thrash and this is her friend, Shannon Jenkins.
01:52 And they're going to show you how, when you've had a
01:56 tense day, or you're very tired and your back aches
02:00 somewhere back there or somewhere up here
02:02 and you feel very tired.
02:04 Melissa is going to show you how you can do something for
02:09 a friend, or for a family member that will make them
02:12 feel a lot better.
02:13 Melissa, who do you have here?
02:16 I have Shannon Jenkins...
02:20 Okay, we're going to start by doing some neck kneading
02:25 and when you do this, just support the head and
02:28 have them relax their neck and then slowly knead the muscles
02:33 in their neck.
02:39 Oh, that looks relaxing and good just to see it, doesn't it?
02:43 All the way up to the base of their skull.
02:50 You can do this several times.
02:52 And once you're done with that, you can do some squeezing
02:55 and hold the muscle and let go...
02:59 squeeze the muscle, hold it, let go...
03:09 and do this again up to the base of the neck
03:12 And then do some lifting at the base of the neck as if
03:14 you were going to lift their head...
03:23 all the way around.
03:26 It looks as if Shannon is about to go to sleep with this nice
03:29 relaxing massage...
03:31 You can do some squeezing of the shoulder muscles as well.
03:34 This will relax...
03:37 That helps to relax the neck and to make the whole
03:41 neck and head feel good.
03:44 Well let's say you've got a headache or feel
03:48 strange in the head, what can you do for that?
03:51 You can use a head massage...
03:53 just put your fingers on the scalp and make some slow
03:58 circular movements on the scalp, near the temples
04:07 I see you're working up to the temporal muscles there.
04:11 Um hm... That's good.
04:14 They often get VERY tense...
04:16 And also in the back, near the occipital muscles
04:22 you can do some of the same...
04:23 Ah ha... occipital muscles get very tense
04:26 And then even where there are no muscles...
04:30 The scalp itself gets tense.
04:31 Sure, cover the whole head.
04:33 I knew a masseuse one time, who would actually
04:37 sort of scratch the scalp a little bit and it
04:40 was very relaxing.
04:43 She would do the same thing for the back and
04:45 the back would relax very nicely.
04:49 Okay, so those are some things that you can do for just
04:52 ordinary fatigue and tension.
04:55 Now, there are some serious back problems that we treat
04:59 with an ice massage.
05:00 Can you show us, with Shannon,
05:02 just what is involved with an ice massage.
05:06 And I see you've got some ice here already.
05:09 And, let's see what's going to happen here with...
05:12 Can you get your sleeve up so that she can show
05:15 the ice massage on her arm.
05:18 Of course, we would not do it on the back right now,
05:22 but you can certainly do it on the arm.
05:24 What is your technique for that?
05:26 It is possible to take a Styrofoam cup and
05:30 freeze water in it and then just cut the base of the cup
05:33 and use that as a nice little handle, and as that melts,
05:36 the ice will come down in and you can ice
05:38 and massage with that...
05:39 But if you don't have that, you can use just regular ice
05:42 that you'd get out of the freezer...
05:44 just little cubes of ice.
05:45 And realistically, most of the time, in the home,
05:47 you probably wouldn't have a Styrofoam cup frozen
05:50 with ice... that's right.
05:51 So you'd need to use the ice cubes...
05:54 Underneath her arm, we have some towels here because
05:59 it tends to melt and get everywhere.
06:06 Now notice that she is just rubbing the ice directly
06:11 on the skin and you can see there how she is doing that
06:15 At first, I can tell you what's going to happen to Shannon
06:19 Her skin is, at first, going to feel very, very cold
06:22 then unpleasantly cold... then it begins to sting
06:25 and then it begins to burn...
06:27 and after a while, that occurs over the first minute or so...
06:33 And after a little bit, she is beginning to think...
06:36 "Well I really wish this ice massage would stop"
06:39 But just about the time she's ready to say that,
06:42 then the whole area turns a very beefy red
06:47 And, I think I can see just a little bit of whitening
06:50 that precedes the reddening.
06:52 You first see the constriction of blood vessels
06:56 and then you see the dilation of blood vessels
06:59 and when you see that dilation, then you're beginning to get
07:03 a very nice treatment.
07:05 See the blanching there... of the skin that comes from
07:10 the first whitening... that's the thing that comes first,
07:14 and then, shortly on the heels of that, will come the reddening
07:18 And that's what you're looking for.
07:20 You just keep moving it.
07:21 Don't let the ice stay still, or that might cause a little
07:26 frostbite... it's unlikely but it might.
07:30 But just keep it moving and pretty shortly,
07:34 you'll start getting a little reddening.
07:36 You can see already... a beginning of reddening
07:39 around the edges.
07:41 Now on the arm where Shannon doesn't have any pain or ache,
07:45 it's not likely to cause her to have much relief of any
07:50 kind of symptom but if she were having a problem with
07:53 her back or an acute back strain, or acute backaches,
07:58 or sprain, a sprained ankle, or something of that nature
08:02 then what Melissa is doing for Shannon, would indeed be
08:08 a very fine treatment.
08:11 All right... thank you, girls.
08:12 That's a very nice demonstration.
08:15 You can already see it getting nice and pink,
08:19 and it will turn beefy red in the area where the ice is
08:22 and that's nicely cold!
08:26 All right... thank you girls, so much.
08:28 I appreciate your showing us this nice little massage.
08:33 Back massage, or an ice massage anywhere
08:36 can be MOST beneficial, and people who get it
08:40 can often be almost cured with just one
08:44 application of the ice.
08:46 The length of time to continue with rubbing with the ice
08:49 is about 12 to 15 minutes for injuries that musicians
08:55 get... such as people who play a harp,
08:58 or people who do plucking of strings such as those who
09:05 play a guitar or a mandolin, or one of those
09:11 kinds of instruments.
09:12 They often get injuries of the hands and the hand will
09:15 swell and be very painful.
09:18 Sometimes they will even get a trigger finger,
09:20 and for them, you can also use ice in the form of
09:24 an ice water bath with ice actually floating in it.
09:29 And the length of time then, is 20 minutes in the ice water.
09:33 And because it isn't pleasant to hold your hand in
09:35 ice water that long, the person who is going to do it
09:38 actually needs to set a timer because they'll
09:41 begin to think... "Well, I've been in this ice water
09:43 for an hour or more...
09:45 when it's only been about 10 or 12 minutes.
09:48 Now, a specialist in this kind of thing is Dr. Winn Horsley
09:52 and he's one of our staff physicians at Uchee Pines
09:55 and I have asked him to help me talk with you about
10:02 Dr. Winn, I was just looking at this model of the vertebrae
10:08 and I am amazed at its design.
10:10 It is PERFECTLY designed to do what our Creator intended
10:15 that it would do... for man to walk ERECT...
10:18 in the ERECT position.
10:19 We don't walk on all 4's but walk in the erect position and
10:23 this is so situated, that it's just ideal for us to do that.
10:27 You know, when you look at the human skeleton,
10:30 the human spine, you get a quite marked change
10:35 in the size of the vertebrae when you come down
10:37 from the neck, down to the low spine... the lumbar spine.
10:43 They become quite a lot more massive and it fits perfectly
10:50 with the fact that it's going to be carrying more weight. Yes.
10:53 I don't think that you get that same kind of gradation
10:57 in size... say, in a dog, who's always got his spine
11:01 Yeah, they're much more delicate in a dog. Um hm
11:04 And much more uniform.
11:06 Yes, that's what I was thinking.
11:09 Now, you know, it's interesting the demands that are placed
11:13 on the spine.
11:15 As in all the body, you want the bone to be tough
11:19 It's the material that handles weight and handles
11:22 the forces of the muscles and tendons to allow good
11:25 movement to take place.
11:27 In the spine, of course, the bones, the vertebrae
11:32 must be able to handle all that weight...
11:36 As a matter of fact, all the way to the body above any
11:38 vertebral level must be handled by that vertebra.
11:41 Well that's true of this vertebra...
11:43 Let's say that we've got it set upright here like
11:46 it would in my spine.
11:48 And then, of course, this next vertebral level
11:51 must handle all the weight above it, plus
11:56 this new added vertebra...
11:57 I mean we're further down, so we've got more weight.
11:59 But what about the disk?
12:00 Ah ha... I see immediately...
12:02 It's got to handle all that same weight
12:05 And so, the demand that we put on disks
12:08 is equal in terms of strength to what we expect in the bones.
12:15 BUT, we don't expect our whole spine to act like one bone.
12:19 We expect to be able to bend and move...
12:21 And all that movement... it doesn't come from the bones
12:24 It all comes from the disks.
12:26 So we've got 2 rather demanding requirements
12:29 on that disk material.
12:31 It must be strong... Weightbearing
12:33 Secondly, it must be flexible.
12:35 It's got to move... It does.
12:37 So those 2 demands make for kind of a special situation
12:44 for disk material...
12:46 And we should maybe get into that in some detail
12:51 a little further along.
12:53 I've been looking at these drawings that you've got
12:55 here on the board with great interest... I'll be glad when
12:57 you get to that.
12:58 Well, I just wanted to say a word about back pain in general.
13:01 In fact, this shows one of the issues of back pain...
13:05 Do you see this little reddish bulging area?
13:09 This is to symbolize that some of this disk material
13:13 has bulged out of place.
13:16 It's now displaced and you can see what it's putting
13:19 pressure on... this yellow material is a nerve root.
13:24 We all know that in the spine, you've got the spinal cord
13:28 running through behind the vertebral bodies...
13:32 And the spinal cord is there precisely to be able to give
13:37 nerve roots to go to all the areas of the body.
13:39 Well this nerve root, in this model, is going to be getting
13:43 pressure from that bulging disk...
13:46 I'd like to point out some of the beauty of the design of this
13:50 ...that the spinal cord is TOTALLY surrounded by bone
13:56 and yet this bone back here, in the back part,
14:02 is not as massive as this that is going to be weightbearing
14:06 And then these little facets here, have mobility in
14:11 them too so that they can move nicely.
14:15 And actually, you pointed out this is not so massive here
14:20 but there is plenty of protection for the spinal cord
14:22 because this is all filled with muscle...
14:24 This is only a rather limited model and the muscle
14:29 here fills in and is a tremendous padding
14:31 for all the underlying structures.
14:34 And then, in addition to that, while we're on the topic of
14:38 structure, inside this canal the spinal cord is not just
14:43 thrown in there right next to bone,
14:45 it has 2 layers of meninges and a layer of dura
14:51 on top of that, and then the bone has its periosteum.
14:55 So, it is WELL insulated and BEAUTIFULLY designed.
15:00 I'm just always amazed at the design of bone
15:05 that shows Divine engineering.
15:07 There's no way that the limited intelligence of a human being
15:13 could make something so small and yet so functional...
15:17 and so varied and everything that it has to do.
15:20 Well this topic of back pain is a very practical one.
15:25 Back pain is such a big issue...
15:29 I don't think most people realize it.
15:31 Most people have an episode of back pain in the lives.
15:34 They say that 80% of people are going to be incapacitated
15:38 for maybe a day or 2, so that they might not even be able
15:42 to go to work during their lifetime.
15:45 But, I don't know that people realize what a tremendous
15:48 impact it has, even on the economy.
15:50 Fifty percent of workers' compensation
15:55 payments go out to low back pain problems. Is THAT right?
15:59 So it's not just the #1 cause, it's as much as
16:02 everything else put together... I'm amazed.
16:05 We're talking about something that's a terribly
16:07 practical problem.
16:09 Well, let's take a look at what we have then...
16:16 in the back.
16:17 I think we could go to the board here.
16:26 This gives a little bit more of an idea of the structure...
16:31 Here are the 2 bones that we showed in the model there...
16:34 the 2 vertebrae.
16:36 And here is the disk in between them.
16:40 Now the disk is very tough material on the outside
16:46 and then, it's kind of creamy in the center.
16:50 Around the disk, I should say in front of the whole spine,
16:56 you have a layer of material that functions like a capsule
17:01 to the whole joint, and its periosteum here in the spine
17:06 And then in back, you have another structure...
17:12 Actually in front of that periosteum, I should have
17:14 put other material... it's a big heavy ligament
17:19 that's running up and down here,
17:21 and there's another one...
17:22 I couldn't show it as heavy there...
17:25 I didn't leave myself enough space, but if you can see the
17:27 green, that's another firm ligament.
17:31 And, in behind that, I put in red, are spinal cord.
17:37 Now let's go over here to this cross section that I've
17:42 drawn of a disk...
17:44 Basically, this is what you would see if you were to cut
17:49 straight through a disk... like that. Um hm
17:52 So, here we see the tough material... kind of layered...
17:57 several layers like so, and then in the center,
18:01 you have this jelly-like center.
18:05 Now, someone may wonder...
18:07 We just talked about how it's supposed to be so strong...
18:10 Why would the Lord make it like a cream puff?
18:12 With a center like that...
18:14 Well, a person needs to realize what human engineers
18:19 have been doing for a long time and that is
18:22 ...when you contain liquid completely,
18:25 then it can withstand tremendous pressures.
18:27 A hydraulic lift that lifts a whole car or heavier vehicle
18:30 it's doing it with oil... Um hm
18:32 And the only thing you have to have is a container that's
18:35 completely closed in.
18:36 Well here, the Lord used that same principle.
18:38 You've got this tough material that's all surrounding the
18:44 jelly-like center.
18:45 Well why have something creamy in the center?
18:48 Well, there's nothing more flexible
18:50 than liquid... That's true!
18:51 And so everyway we turn, this central part has
18:53 no trouble at all adapting completely to the shape.
18:56 Now this is a normal disk.
19:00 This is the way we would like to see it always stay.
19:02 But what happens is, we get some bad changes that occur
19:11 and here, really, we're talking about a problem that happens
19:16 not only to disks, but to all the material that's like
19:20 disks in the body.
19:21 And, now, the disks are cartilage...
19:24 You may have, in your work as a pathologist,
19:27 looked at cartilage a fair bit...
19:29 And this is a special cartilage, a fibrocartilage!
19:32 Fibrous tissue plus cartilage.
19:35 Okay... I think it makes it particularly tough.
19:38 Ah ha... very tough.
19:39 But mobile too, but moveable
19:43 Yeah, it's a little pliable.
19:45 It's not absolutely rigid. Right!
19:47 Well, the topic of cartilage degenerating is really
19:53 a topic of osteoarthritis.
19:56 Really, the same kind of problems that we're talking
19:58 about here in the back, are going on in
20:02 all the other joints in the body of many people
20:04 One of the things that one sees, when we start
20:11 getting this degeneration is cracks in this cartilage
20:15 and they'll run like so...
20:23 We can actually SEE that under the microscope in a
20:26 degenerated disk. Interesting!
20:27 We can actually see those tiny, little cracks.
20:30 Now, you may wonder...
20:32 why does that kind of thing happen...
20:34 Well, you know, when you talk about osteoarthritis,
20:37 a lot of doctors say it's the wear and tear of years.
20:40 You know... as though it's totally inevitable...
20:43 there's nothing you can do about it.
20:44 But there really ARE some things that we could say
20:48 that have been found to point to the fact that it's
20:50 not just inevitable... there are things in our life
20:54 that we have as habits that lead us into that problem.
20:59 One of the points to note is that smokers get a lot more
21:06 of these disk problems than nonsmokers.
21:10 It's amazing! They get a lot more skin wrinkling too.
21:14 Skin deterioration...
21:16 You know, some people might wonder why...
21:19 It's kind of obvious that if you're taking smoke into
21:22 your lungs, you're going to be ruining your lungs.
21:24 Why would it affect the rest of the body?
21:26 I think we can explain it because it makes blood vessels
21:29 constrict... Blood flow is not as good.
21:32 Another factor involved in this kind of degeneration...
21:36 is the main disease that afflicts us in this country
21:41 which is arteriosclerosis!
21:43 Where are your blood vessels there in the disks?
21:46 Well, this is the kind of subtle aspect
21:51 to all the joints in the body.
21:52 They have no blood going inside the joints.
21:56 Cartilage in the one tissue in the body that has no
21:59 blood flow.
22:00 Now of course, it, like every other tissue depends
22:03 on the nourishment the blood gives but the blood
22:06 ONLY gets to this tissue that's on the outside...
22:10 Here, it would be this periosteum...
22:15 this capsule around the joint.
22:17 And from there, it must just seep in to basically the
22:21 watery type of fluid that takes care of the joint.
22:24 Only the blood plasma ever gets to the disk... That's it.
22:30 And it gets all of its nourishment from the blood
22:33 plasma that comes to it from a distance...
22:36 And, therefore, in a sense it's more dependent on that
22:41 blood... if there's any problem interrupting that chain,
22:44 it's going to be complaining even sooner than other tissues.
22:48 Now, let me just finish here what would happen if
22:56 let's say someone is in this situation...
22:59 We've drawn one here... one of these cracks
23:01 that only has a hair of tissue holding it together at the end.
23:04 And so this person then leans over maybe to pick up something
23:08 ...a piece of paper... A piece of paper!
23:10 This terrible, heavy work injury appears... OOH OHH!
23:13 And he doesn't even want to straighten up...
23:16 He doesn't want to bend further...
23:17 He doesn't want to move in any direction.
23:19 And, what we have is...
23:22 We've opened up this crack and I think it's clear
23:28 to anyone looking at this...
23:29 Well now, the jelly-like center can just go straight out
23:34 and, furthermore, this rather tough material of the disk
23:40 is also now free to make a move out...
23:44 It's not held in place.
23:45 So now, we can push... first of all directly against
23:50 the ligament here in back or the ligament in front
23:53 and that can be painful.
23:54 I could've said here, that there really are no major
23:57 nerves... There aren't a significant
23:59 amount of nerves in the disk.
24:02 So the person that had... before we did this break,
24:04 final break, the person may have been totally unaware that
24:07 he has a back problems.
24:08 But now, the ligament definitely is sensitive
24:13 ...He'll have pain
24:14 And then, of course, we could get, what we showed on that
24:17 model, where it goes right out against the nerve root.
24:20 He'll be VERY aware of pain along the distribution where
24:23 that nerve goes... it could be right down the leg.
24:27 Well, when this happens, we could tell the person,
24:31 Well, he, you know, should have been doing the right things
24:36 to avoid arteriosclerosis... and some of those things of diet
24:40 Or, that he shouldn't have been smoking, etc.
24:44 It might be a little unkind to be rubbing all
24:46 that in at that time.
24:48 Is there something we can do for a person that's in that
24:51 situation right now? Well, there is!
24:55 And, just before calling on someone to demonstrate this,
25:02 I want you to look again at this picture here of the
25:08 I would like to just turn to the side and show you
25:11 that this is actually showing the spine the way I'm standing
25:14 now, the skin of the back is here,
25:17 and I'll put that up on the board...
25:19 Here is the skin of the back running along here,
25:22 and, in fact, you can even feel the bumps that correspond
25:25 to these bony projections on your back...
25:27 if you don't have too much padding there.
25:30 And, what we want to do is somehow open up this space
25:38 a little further... I'll show you why
25:43 These 2 vertebrae have compressed this disk, so now
25:48 it is actually PUSHING OUT... I hope this is clear enough
25:54 We're getting this disk pushing out where it shouldn't be...
25:57 And we would like to nudge that back forward and
25:59 OPEN up that space so that it will all come back into place
26:05 We'll show that with the girls, will we?
26:08 That's right... Let's have them to come forward and
26:11 the last 1-1/2 minutes, we'll show these nice little maneuvers
26:17 that they can do.
26:20 Okay. How do you position?
26:24 The first point would be that we do it on a pillow
26:27 because the person might not even want to straighten up
26:30 Now, as she gets more used to lying down and there's no
26:32 weight on her spine, we'll pull the pillow away.
26:34 Can we do that for you, Shannon?
26:36 Now this would have taken, perhaps, many minutes to do.
26:39 Maybe 15... Might be 15 or even more.
26:43 Now the next thing to do...
26:44 Notice we've got some... just a minute Melissa,
26:48 we're going to just watch here the position is, with a bit of
26:52 arching of the back which tends to open this space.
26:56 Now the NEXT thing we'll do, after a couple of minutes
26:58 at least in this position, will be propping up on the elbows
27:03 Good... and that arches the back further which opens
27:09 up this disk space more.
27:12 And then, finally, we will be pushing UP,
27:16 and arching even further.
27:18 Okay, we might do several repetitions of that. Okay...
27:26 Now, one further thing that can be done is a person
27:30 can actually do some work directly with pressure
27:33 on the spine, right at the center...
27:35 Just apply and sort of doing it oscillating
27:40 and doing several repetitions of pushing, maybe 6, 8, 10 times
27:46 And that will open up those disk spaces very nicely
27:50 so that, hopefully, the person will not have a backache anymore
27:54 And we hope that you will be blessed by the Lord!