Foods That Help Heal Degenerated Discs

Degenerative disc conditions are fairly common and, in some cases, asymptomatic. Yet some with dehydrated, bulging or herniated discs are subjected to a great deal of pain, often affecting other parts of the body due to nerve impingement. Treating degenerated discs should involve physical therapy, decompression treatments or inversion treatments and, if needed, short-term anti-inflammatory medication. In order to reduce your dependence on drugs and supplement your other treatment methods, it is a good idea to adopt a diet for disc health.

Vitamin C

The connective tissues that compose the tough exterior ring of spinal discs contain the protein collagen, which in large part contributes to the ring’s strength and structural integrity. Vitamin C is needed by cells to produce collagen. Worn discs need all the collagen they can get to repair the degenerating exterior. Foods rich in Vitamin C are:

Peppers, both chili and bell
Fresh thyme and parsley
Dark leafy greens
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts)
Oranges and clementines

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Inflammation is a factor of discogenic pain. When the body senses an injury, it sends a rush of proteins and chemicals to the site to facilitate healing. When the injury lasts a long time and inflammation becomes chronic, however, it can actually damage bodily tissues. Reducing inflammation is important both for short-term and long-term pain management. Omega-3 fatty acids are immune system modulators that effectively reduce inflammation, making them an essential component of any anti-inflammation diet. A study, found at, showed fish oil supplementation to work as well as NSAIDs in reducing back and neck pain. Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include:

Fish oil supplements
Flax seeds


We breathe because the cells and tissues of our body require oxygen in order to function. Injured areas need extra oxygen to facilitate healing. Oxygen is carried throughout the body by red blood cells, and the number of these cells increases when you eat foods rich in iron. Foods high in iron content include:

Pumpkin Seeds
White Beans

A diet rich in Vitamin C, iron and omega-3 fatty acids can help your spinal discs heal. It is a good idea to avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates such as white sugar and white bread, which cause changes in the body that can trigger the inflammatory response. The food choices you make directly impact the way your body functions. While a healthy disc diet is not likely to repair your disc problems by itself, it will supplement your other treatment methods. Eating foods for back pain is a safe, natural way to heal.

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