The Model Health Show


TMHS 012: Treating Back Pain, Degenerative Disc Disease, And "Incurable" Diseases

In this episode of The Model Health Show we go in-depth on one of the leading causes for missed work days and doctor visits in our society: Chronic back pain. 

This topic is really significant for me because chronic back pain totally destroyed my life at one point. Not having any idea of what went wrong or what to do about it, I sought out the help of medical professionals that were supposed to have the skills to help me.

With the medical practitioners focus on treating symptoms, rather than root causes, my situation went from bad, to worse, to extremely worse.

Today I’m going to share with you exactly what happened. I’m going to share with you how I went from being broken down with “the spine of an 80-year old” to completely reversing my symptoms, regenerating my spinal tissues, and dedicating my life to help others. 

If you’re ever diagnosed with an “incurable” illness, please understand that this diagnosis does not have the final say about you.

Often times the word “incurable” gets tossed around because the practitioner doesn’t know how to fix it personally. There’s also this other term called “spontaneous remission” that gets tossed around when they can’t explain how you got better. Today I’m going to share with you how to get better.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • Why conventional medical treatment for disease is yielding such poor results.
  • My story and the debilitating disease that threatened my livelihood.
  • What important questions you need to ask when faced with an injury or illness.
  • One of the most negative qualities about fast food that most people don’t know about.
  • How to strengthen your ability to make the right decisions (with your health and life).
  • Why the “raw materials” of your spine are so important.
  • What your body will do if it’s ever deficient in calcium (this is crazy!)
  • What the spinal disc are made of (it changes as you age).
  • Why hydration is critical to the health of your spine.
  • What common foods and practices will leach calcium from your spine.
  • Why you want to AVOID calcium supplements.
  • How back pain can originate from several different places.
  • What lower cross syndrome is and how to fix it.
  • The impact that sitting for long periods has on your hip flexors (and back pain).
  • What the #1 exercise for your abdominal muscles is (and how to do it RIGHT).
  • Why lower back pain may not actual be caused by your back.
  • What simple tools you can use to relax muscles, recover from injury, and self-adjust your spine.
  • Why the treadmill is not ideal if you have back problems.
  • The most important exercise for building a strong back.
  • What mental/emotional issues to address when dealing with back problems.
  • What foods to eat if you have back problems (spine healthy foods).
  • The 5 essential tips to eliminate back pain.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

*Activation Products – Magnesium Infusion

*Top 3 Health Tips from Model Health Show – RawBrahs

*Lower cross syndrome

*SI joint self adjustment

*SPRI EVA Foam Roller (the one I use)

*7 Benefits of MSM – The Miracle Supplement

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

CLICK HERE to leave a review for the show on iTunes!


  1. Jennifer on 08/08/2013 at 2:36 AM

    Incredible information where theories of evidence become living proof. Practical, do-able, realistic strategies to get people’s back, back on track. Totally connected on this podcast. Excellent work.

    • Shawn on 08/08/2013 at 11:12 AM

      Thank you so much, Jennifer. Back, back on track… I love it!

  2. Yolanda Cooper on 08/08/2013 at 3:20 AM

    Recently diagnosed with chronic renal insuffiency,was told its related to my hypertension and the meds used to treat it.. Was told to diet, exercise and lose weight. Stop eating fried foods and fast food…really not eating much and still gaining. Also told to eat less protein and more carbs. Any advice you can give is appreciated

    • Shawn on 08/08/2013 at 11:18 AM

      Yolanda, you are not alone. You are in a situation right now that millions of people are in today. Told to diet, exercise, and lose weight, but then given non-scientific, noneffective methods to do it.

      What if I told you that you MUST do the exact opposite of what they said to lose weight? As a matter of fact, you simply need to use your common sense and listen to your heart… Has what they told you to do worked? Plain and simple.

      If the answer is no, then I’ve got your back, and you need to start right here:

      And right here:

  3. Dean B on 08/17/2013 at 2:45 AM

    Love your shows. I have the pain and discomfort on my left side sciatic running down my leg, lower back pain and weakness after a long day of work. I think i need to get on an exercise program to target that area more.? I have been vegan for about a year and i exercise almost everyday alternating with strength and running. I have done manual labor my whole life (im 37) but am working to change to health and fitness so i will have less stress ect. So anyway the discomfort will go away after a while but comes back, not sure the problem because i know my back and abs are pretty strong, i am athletic, i basically have the same build as you Shawn and i do most everything you just mentioned on your show. So how do i know what is weak and what is strong so i can follow your advise? I havent done deadlifts in years, so i can for sure start there, do you have a link showing the proper way to do them? Sorry for the book, thanks in advance for answering whatever you have time for!

  4. Dan on 10/28/2013 at 5:12 PM

    Hi Shawn. Can you provide more details on the supplements you recommended for treating back pain? Dosage, etc. I have been dealing with 2 bulging disk for 9 months that I am trying to heal naturally. I’ve tried 3 different chiropractors, decompression, and physical therapy. Any additional advise you have would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Josh on 05/05/2014 at 11:21 PM

    I know this is an older podcast and post, but I heard you on Able’s podcast this weekend and came to take a look. Your situation with your back is pretty close to mine, though mine happened while I was in the Army not college. Man, I gotta tell ya… I never thought that might be possible. My wife has never known me vital and vibrant like I was before all the pills and pains… doctor recommended pill deficiency of course. I’m so all over this info brada, if I even drop one pill… Seriously I am flying to Austin to bear hug Able for having you on, then I’m tracking you down for the same treatment!
    Be well, and thank you for being tears to my eyes with hope for what once was… And can be again,

  6. […] * Treating Back Pain, Degenerative Disc Disease And “Incurable” Disease – Podcast […]

  7. Greg on 06/26/2014 at 2:44 PM

    Shawn, great episode.

    I believe we have some mutual friends in Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas. I’m a fellow podcaster and love your show.

    Been dealing with what the doctors said was sciatica and doing PT and now acupuncture but yet to get MRI. It is now scheduled but I appreciate the tips and your vulnerability in sharing your story.

    I’ve been dealing with this now for a few months and it’s definitely beat up my mindset a bit and i’m usually pretty active and realize i need to get back to being as active as I can be even if I can’t do the things I’m used to doing.

    Keep doing what you do and would love to connect sometime!


  8. Emily on 10/06/2014 at 8:38 PM

    One quote from this podcast that is really sticking with me is “With decision comes action.” Exactly! Every decision of what I put in my mouth is followed by an action, and every action of what I put in my mouth is the result of a decision. Powerful stuff. Keep it up!

  9. brian on 06/04/2015 at 11:43 AM

    I went through all the exact same issues/diagnosis for back pain ….went to every specialist. The exercises from a book were what completely fixed me and the information from it…..called “Foundation Training-redefine your core”. The author would be a great interview as their philosophy/approach is similar to yours and like the information you shared in this podcast episode

  10. Jason on 08/02/2015 at 11:27 AM

    Hey Shawn,
    After I got my MRI back a couple months ago, I learned that I have virtually the exact same thing wrong with my spine that you did, in the exact same location. I’ve been taking steps to fix my spine through proper exercise, but after listening to your podcast, I’ll admit that I’m embarrassed that I haven’t even considered my diet. The advice you give at the end is fantastic and I thank you for it. But I wanted to ask if there was someplace, be it a podcast, interview, book, etc, where you spell out in more detail exactly what kind of diet people like us need to be eating to fix their spine? If so I would love to check it out. Thanks!

    • Shawn on 08/05/2015 at 12:56 PM

      Hey Jason, thanks so much for sharing this with me. Just taking steps in the right direction by including movement is a step in the right direction (literally). Yes, providing the raw materials your body needs to rebuild will dramatically accelerate the process (but it’s still important to be patient!). I don’t have a program that maps everything out as of yet. I do have a program dedicated to regenerating and/or stopping the degeneration of knee tissues that have all of the foods and supplements I’d recommend. It’s called “Regrow Your Knees” and it’s on my STORE page. The program goes into focusing on real food, avoiding tissue damaging foods, and more. You don’t need to get the program though in order to eat clean and take smart supplements. You can piece it all together by doing some research and making sure to stay connected to The Model Health Show!

  11. Katrina on 08/11/2015 at 7:28 AM

    I just heard this podcast for the first time. My coworker likes to share info and sent your link to me. I browsed the topics and found the one about back problems. I have been home resting for almost 3 weeks, taking anti inflammatory drugs and all because of back problems. Yep….L3/4 and L4/5. And yes, I’ve seen the surgeon. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. There is so much more I can do for myself and will!!!!!

  12. […] If you decided going to a medical professional wasn’t warranted, then supplements definitely are. I used Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Colostrum, MSM, and Collagen to provide substrate to my disc. Buy the highest quality you can find. Besides those type of supplements, make sure to include in your diet sardines, bone broth, marrow, and insects, if possible. These foods are either rich sources of glycine and proline or rich sources of proteoglycans that provide the raw material for your discs to regenerate. Aloe lead contains beneficial polysaccharides, too. Here’s a valuable resource to consult as a starting point: his name is Shawn Stevenson. […]

  13. […] * Treating Back Pain, Degenerative Disc Disease, And “Incurable” Diseases – Model He… […]

  14. Carrie Talus on 03/13/2016 at 1:54 PM

    I just found this podcast and I am so impressed by you! The last year and a half I have been dealing with the EXACT same issues you had…same place…same problems. I also chose not to do surgery (they told me I had a back of an 80 year old too…at age 43) when they said it was my only option. I have been doing my own research and trying to fix myself through physical therapy and slooooowwly I am improving so much. I just learned from a massage therapist I started going to that perhaps my problem lies in my psoas muscle. I am completely enthralled with what you are teaching in this podcast and it makes me so hopeful that I can do this. I have been afraid to exercise hard (I used to be very sporty) and I admit I’m still nervous about that. I will start slow like you said you did. I love how you have researched diet and what the body needs. I wish I could sit down with you and take notes on exactly what to eat and how much to drink. I’m going to finish listening now. Thank you so much for sharing this. You give me a lot of hope.

  15. Daniel on 04/05/2016 at 7:02 PM

    Hi Shawn,

    I came across your work via Rich Roll’s podcast (thanks for that great advice on sleep) and have been listening to your own show. You mentioned you read all comments so I’d love to get your thoughts on back pain.

    I had a microdiscectomy 3 years ago to fix a herniated L5/S1. The surgery significantly improved my condition but I do still suffer from siatic and lower back pain. If I maintain my exercise regime (walking, swimming, yoga, core strength) then there is almost no pain (but not 100%!).

    Two questions here. You mentioned the foam roller, can you explain how exactly you use it? Secondly can you suggest any other aerobic/cardio exercises that might help me? I’d love to get more active and I avoid running and sport because I think it will make my back worse. You did mention deadlifting which I’m going to have a go at.

    Love your work!

Leave a Comment