Herniated Disc | Eating Right

Nutrition is an important part of health all the time, but when your body is trying to recover from a condition like a herniated disc, it becomes an integral part of your daily routine. Getting the right vitamins and minerals, as well as watching what you eat to avoid weight gain, can not only help you heal but also assists in the management of chronic symptoms because the body will have the tools it needs to build and maintain healthy tissue. However, in order to understand what to eat for a herniated disc, it’s first necessary to know what this condition is, and how it relates to the disc’s structure, which is outlined in the following article.

Anatomy of a herniated disc

A spinal disc is made up of two layers — a jellylike interior layer known as the nucleus pulposus and a tough outer layer known as the annulus fibrosus. A herniated disc is a condition in which the thick, cartilaginous outer layer splits, allowing the soft inner layer to leak or ooze out of the disc and into the spinal canal. In most cases, this causes little, if any, symptoms, and the vast majority of cases will clear up on their own without the affected person knowing he or she even had an issue.

However, if the disc’s jellylike center leaks out far enough in a certain direction, it can put pressure on a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, impeding this structure from sending the electrical impulses it uses to relay messages between the brain and other parts of the body. When this happens, symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and weakness can all result in the area of the body to which the nerve root extends.

Herniated disc diet

With this information in mind, eating right for a herniated disc often centers around providing the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy cartilage since that’s what the disc’s wall is made up of. Foods that support cartilage health include those rich in vitamins C, E and D, as well as supplements including glucosamine and chondroitin. A herniated disc diet should also include plenty of calcium to support the health of vertebrae. In general, the diet should include plenty of vegetables, fruit and lean protein such as fish, chicken and beans.

If you’d like to learn more about the minimally invasive spinal procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute to treat a herniated disc, contact us today. Our board-certified surgeons+ are able to perform a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization surgery based on the severity of your herniated disc.

Compared to traditional open spine surgeries, our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative as well as a shorter recovery time^ by using a small incision and muscle-sparing techniques. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic conditions.

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost MRI review* that will determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

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