Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 11, 2018
Degenerative disc disease is more of a natural progression than disease, as it is a condition categorized by a loss in spinal disc height. Most times this condition occurs slowly over many years as we get older and daily stress and microtrauma take their toll, but it can also develop sooner if you suffer a serious spinal injury.
If you are diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and many people will be over the course of their life, your doctor will likely recommend some active and passive treatment options like exercise and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. With that said, there’s one more crucial aspect of our life that we need to focus on if we want to treat and prevent continued spinal disc degeneration, and that’s your diet.
Diet and Degenerative Disc Disease
A healthy diet is important for a number of reasons when it comes to preventing and treating degenerative disc disease. For starters, it can help you maintain a healthy weight, which takes extra stress off your spinal discs. Secondly, vitamins and nutrients from food help to ensure bones and other spinal structures get the resources they need to remain strong and sturdy.
When it comes to developing a nutrition plan for preventing and treating degenerative disc disease, keep these three tips in mind:
- Caloric Balance – If you want to maintain an appropriate weight or even lose a few pounds and take some stress off your spinal discs, you should strive to achieve caloric balance. What we mean by this is that you burn more or roughly the same amount of calories as you take in each day. Your spine specialist can help you determine how many calories you need on a daily basis to achieve a healthy balance.
- Nutrient-Dense Foods – In order to get a healthy amount of vitamins and nutrients each day while still maintaining caloric balance, you may need to reach for some nutrient dense foods. Items like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins like seafood, beans, and poultry are all great sources of nutrient-rich foods.
- Fiber is Important – Fiber is very important in your daily diet, especially if you take medications to manage your degenerative disc disease. A common side effect of degenerative disc disease medication is constipation, and healthy amounts of fiber can help prevent constipation. Foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are all good sources of fiber.
A healthy diet isn’t the only treatment option you should consider when treating and preventing degenerative disc disease but does play an important role in slowing the condition’s progression, so it should definitely be incorporated as part of a total treatment plan. To learn more about a diet to control degenerative disc disease symptoms, or to talk to a spine specialist about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.