The benefits of a healthy diet for degenerative disc disease

An unfortunate side effect of growing older is that our spinal anatomy naturally begins to deteriorate. Years of wear and tear on the spinal components take their toll, and conditions like degenerative disc disease can develop over time. While the aging process is obviously unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to increase overall spine health and potentially slow down spinal degeneration. One of the most practical ways to accomplish this important goal is with a healthy diet.

Spinal deterioration and nutrition

The spinal column in the neck and back is responsible for supporting much of the body’s weight while also providing the flexibility and mobility we require for basic movement. Over time, natural loss of water content and breakdown of proteins causes the moving parts of the spine, including the spinal discs, to deteriorate. A healthy diet can maximize the flow of nutrients to the discs, helping them to remain their elasticity and strength with age. Additionally, eating right can also help maintain a healthy body weight, which is critical to reducing the stress on the spine on a day-to-day basis.

Here are some good tips for eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet for the health of the spine:

  • Eat five small meals a day instead of three large ones
  • Watch your portions
  • Eat a diet that includes lean proteins, fruits and vegetables
  • Eat meals that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Cut out empty calories, including sugary drinks
  • Stay physically active

Moving forward with other treatment

Degenerative disc disease can have a real effect on your quality of life, but by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and taking care of your body, you can limit your pain and prevent injury. Conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, massage and medication can also be effective for managing pain and improving mobility. Spine surgery for degenerative disc disease may be recommended if symptoms are debilitating and not responding to conservative treatments.

To learn how our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.^

We’re pleased to offer a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.