Overview of 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.
Degenerative Disc Disease and Nutrition
The spinal column in the neck and back is responsible for supporting the body’s weight while providing flexibility and mobility. Over time, the natural loss of water content and breakdown of proteins causes the moving parts of the spine to deteriorate. A healthy diet can maximize the flow of nutrients to the discs, helping them to maintain 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. By maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, 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. Contact BEST Health System to learn more about our services.