ack pain is something a very large number of people have to deal with at one point or another. In fact, there are some 31 million people in the U.S. alone who suffer from lower back pain at any one time, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Unsurprisingly, a herniated disc is one of the leading causes of back pain, and it can be so debilitating that it makes everyday activities seem like moving mountains. Thankfully, herniated disc treatment doesn’t have to be chore.
If you have a herniated disc, a bulging disc, a desiccated disc, or any sort of low back injury or low back pain, these tips can absolutely help you deal with the sciatic nerve pain that follows. I can tell you from experience. I’ve had a herniated disc from lifting weights and doing other things in the past. These things help me personally, and I’ve seen them help thousands of patients I’ve taken care of over the years as well.
Here, I lay out five steps to heal a herniated disc, including the diet, the supplements and natural herniated disc treatment options you need to follow. Let’s start with the diet you need eat and go one from there with the herniated disc treatment steps that will give you fast back pain relief at the same time.
Herniated Disc Treatment
Eat a Collagen/Bone Broth Diet
First off, you need to give your body the specific nutrients it needs in order to heal the area, and that means you need to follow what I call the collagendiet. Your body needs collagen to help heal and repair a damaged disc and tissues. In order to do that, collagen is found in protein powder made from bone broth or bone broth liquid.
Drinking bone broth on a regular basis is the No. 1 dietary thing you can do. You can make bone broth at home yourself or simply buy a liquid bone broth online and have it shipped to you frozen. Sometimes you can even find it in your grocery store. You want to consume two to three servings a day — it’s an absolute must for herniated disc treatment.
I recommend you make a big crock-pot soup every single day to consume. For instance, combine chicken, celery, onions, carrots, some organic chicken and some chicken bone broth. That’s going to give you some of the nutrients you need to help heal and repair your low back, stiff neck or wherever you might have a herniated disc.
Also, getting more antioxidants by consuming high-antioxidant foods like blueberries is key. The ideal herniated disc treatment diet looks something like this:
- Breakfast: A smoothie with a collagen protein powder or protein powder made from bone broth, blueberries, coconut milk and maybe some anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger root.
- Lunch/Dinner: Soup or stew with the bone broth.
Read More: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Consume Beneficial Supplements
The best supplements for healing a herniated disc include a collagen protein or a protein powder made from bone broth. Those contain the amino acids glutamine, glycine, proline, as well as arginine. These are the amino acids that your body needs for collagen production and help heal damaged tissues.
The following supplements are also beneficial for herniated disc treatment:
- Omega-3 fish oil supplement — 1,000–2,000 milligrams a day — or a fish roe supplement
- MSM supplement, a sulfur-containing supplement that helps with joint repair
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
- Anti-inflammatory herbs, such as turmeric (curcumin), help heal and repair damaged tissues
Moving on from your diet’s role in herniated disc treatment, there are some lifestyle changes you should incorporate as well. One is to begin practicing Egoscue. Egoscue is a form of physical therapy, but it’s not just any physical therapy. Egoscue can help you in restoring your posture. This is crucial for herniated disc treatment, so look up Egoscue in your area.
An Egoscue practitioner is going to prescribe a specific customized exercise plan for you and have you do exercises to help restore your posture, because if you have poor posture or what’s called lower-crossed syndrome or upper-crossed syndrome, that’s going to put extra stress on that disc causing a herniated disc. So make sure you see an Egoscue practitioner.
I also highly recommend that you look into a form of regenerative medicine called prolotherapy. Prolotherapy, which uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, actually help repair the damaged tissue.
A lot of times what can happen when you herniate a disc, it results from a lower back or ligament injury and the ligaments become lax. It’s just like when you sprain or tear your ACL or sprain your ankle. Those ligaments then can become loose, and then the muscles have to make up for it. This can lead to spasms, and that can be actually the root cause of your pain. In fact, a lot of times if you have a herniated disc the pain is not caused by the disc herniation — it’s more caused by nerve-root compression within the muscles and other tissues instead of that.
Prolotherapy helps repair that muscle tissue, which is why you should definitely incorporate it into your herniated disc treatment plan. Typically, you need to do about three to eight treatments, and you will see phenomenal results by doing prolotherapy if you stick to it.
The type of prolotherapy I recommend most? Regenexx, which I personally use for my back and shoulder injuries, as has my wife for past injuries. I suggest checking out Regenexx for the highest quality and most studied PRP and stem cell treatments.
Egoscue helps retrain the muscles while PRP will help retrain the ligaments and the tendons. You’ve got to retrain all three of those if you’re going to completely heal yourself from a herniated disc.
Get Corrective Chiropractic Care
Last but not least, corrective chiropractic care can do wonders for a herniated disc, but beware of improper chiropractic adjustments. Many chiropractors do a form of adjustment that’s going to cause your ligaments to possibly become more loose, believe it or not. You want to do corrective chiropractic adjustments that follow chiropractic biophysics, CLEAR Institute or even Pettibon System techniques. Corrective chiropractic care retrains and gets the corrected spinal curvatures back.
Part of what can cause herniated discs is if you get what’s called a military neck and losing the curve in your neck. It also can result from having too much or too little curve in your lumbar spine or having a condition like a spondylolisthesis that can cause instability of your lumbar spine or your cervical spine. If you want to heal, you must be careful to seek out corrective chiropractic care.
More on Herniated Discs
You might be wondering the difference between, say, a herniated disc and a bulging disc.
A herniated disc is more like a disc opening and spilling its insides out, while a bulging disc is the disc stretching and protruding outward. Herniated discs are also called ruptured discs or slipped discs more often than bulging discs are. Compared to herniated discs, bulging discs are more common, and they might also go unnoticed more often since they can cause less pain. Then again, each person’s symptoms are different.
The main difference between the two is that a bulging disc is thought to be caused by pressure that forces the disc to stretch, while on the other hand a herniated disc is primarily caused from a crack developing in the tough outer layer of the disc’s cartilage. With a herniated disc, once a crack forms it’s possible for the disc’s softer inner cartilage to move through the crack and touch surrounding nerves, similar to what happens with a bulging disc.
A herniated disc can also be a sign or symptom of other problems as well, such as:
- Spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Pinched nerve
Final Thoughts on Herniated Disc Treatment
If you do these five things, you’re going to see great results in your herniated disc treatment:
- Follow a bone broth diet or bone broth fast.
- Take beneficial supplements, such as collagen protein, omega-3 and turmeric.
- Practice Egoscue.
- Get prolotherapy.
- Get corrective chiropractic care.