3 tips for healthy intervertebral discs

What are intervertebral discs?

Our spine is made up of many small bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a disc that acts as a cushion between the bones. They distribute pressure evenly over the entire spine and thus cushion the stress exerted on the spine during movement processes. The center of the disc contains a jelly-like substance surrounded by many layers of collagen fibers. The inner part of the disk acts as a cushion, while the outer layers help maintain its structural stability.

How does a herniated disc occur?

A herniated disc can occur when the tough outer wall of the disc ruptures through a weak point (for example, due to improper loading or age-related wear and tear). If the gelatinous nucleus escapes into the spinal canal, it can press on a spinal nerve. Typical symptoms are then paralysis, weakness, sensory disturbances and severe back pain, which can radiate to the arms and legs. A herniated disc can occur anywhere in the spine, but the lower back is most affected. In many cases, it occurs as a result of gradual age-related wear and tear, also known as disc degeneration.

Intervertebral discs become less flexible with age and can rupture even with slight stress or twist. Rest, medication, physical therapy, or a spinal injection may be the first steps to recovery. If symptoms persist, surgery is recommended.

To prevent this from happening, we have 3 tips that can relieve intervertebral discs and relieve pain naturally.

3 tips for healthy intervertebral discs

1. Bring more movement into everyday life

Even if you’ve had a herniated disc in the past, it’s important to get enough exercise. Only in this way can the intervertebral discs absorb important nutrients for regeneration.

Strengthening the trunk muscles also stabilizes and supports the spine and relieves the intervertebral discs. Holding exercises, such as planks, are particularly effective. But gentle sports like yoga, Pilates, or Tai-Chi also promote a strong core and can therefore reduce your painkiller intake.

Read on in a moment: Fitness 2022: 5 plank tips for beginners

2. The correct sleeping position

Many affected individuals find it comfortable to sleep on their back with their legs straight. In this position, the spine curves into an S-shape and body weight is more evenly distributed over the body surface and pressure points are less stressed. Alternating between back and side position is considered optimal. As a result, the muscles in the contact areas are well supplied with blood and have a uniform load. However, side sleepers should place a pillow between their legs to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and reduce pressure on the lower back.

Also interesting: The best sleeping position for back pain

3. Proper nutrition

If your body lacks vital vitamins, minerals and trace elements, many metabolic processes, body processes and functions can no longer run smoothly and become unbalanced. With the right diet, you can not only speed up regeneration, but also prevent a herniated disc. So make sure your nutrient storage is full enough. Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (rapeseed, walnut or flaxseed oil), antioxidants (vitamins C, E and K) and anti-inflammatory trace elements such as selenium and zinc are especially important for our intervertebral discs.

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