What to eat if you have a torn disc

Eating a nutritious diet is a smart choice in any situation, but when you have a torn disc, it becomes even more important since your body needs the vitamins and minerals provided by a well-rounded diet to heal itself from symptoms such as back pain or leg pain as well as maintain healthy tissues. Read on for more tips on eating right after being diagnosed with a torn disc as well as the conservative and minimally invasive alternatives available that can provide you with lasting relief from your condition.

Methods for eating right with a torn disc

Some tips for eating right with a torn disc include:

  • Bring your own lunch to work. By packing your own meal instead of eating out, you can better control and monitor the calories you take in and take steps to maintain a healthy weight. If your work doesn’t have a refrigerator, consider bringing an insulated bag.
  • Choose healthy snacks. Rather than reaching for potato chips, choose fresh vegetables or a piece of fruit instead. Even doing this once a week makes a difference and helps you begin to create healthy habits.
  • Avoid temptation. Keep a nonperishable snack in your car, desk or purse to give yourself a healthy option when you’re hungry so you don’t resort to the vending machine out of desperation.
  • Make small changes. A key part of maintaining a healthy diet is not feeling deprived, so whenever possible, make small changes; in the long run, they’ll add up to have a big effect. Examples include switching to low-fat dressing rather than full fat, baked chips instead of fried, using a teaspoon of oil when cooking instead of a tablespoon and using a small amount of low-fat mayonnaise instead of full-fat or switching to mustard. You likely won’t even notice the difference, but you’ll be skimming calories off your daily intake.
  • Keep only healthy food in the house. Eliminate temptation and save yourself the stress by ridding your home of unhealthy food. Simply knowing that high-calorie treats are in the cabinet can make resisting much more difficult. If your family won’t allow you to completely get rid of junk food, then put it into a special section of the cabinet away from the area you usually use so you don’t have to see it every time you reach for a snack.
  • Treat yourself. It might seem counterintuitive, but allowing yourself a small treat at predetermined intervals can help you be more consistent the rest of the time and avoid much larger missteps.

Alternative torn disc treatment options

If you are still suffering from a torn disc after changing your dietary habits, your doctor may recommend trying conservative therapy, like pain medications and physical therapy, to see if it can provide you with relief. However, if your chronic symptoms continue after several weeks or months, then surgical intervention may be necessary, such as Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery.

For more information on eating right with a torn disc, or to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques, which results in a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.^

Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our dedicated team will be happy to review your treatment options with you as well as provide a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you’re a candidate for one of our minimally invasive spine procedures.