A disc herniation, defined as a rupture of the outer portion of one or more of your intervertebral discs, is a relatively common health complaint among Americans. Spinal disc herniations, notes MayoClinic.com, are particularly common in people between the ages of 35 and 45, people who are carrying excess body weight and people who engage in physically challenging occupations that require bending and twisting movements. Certain supplements may help repair spinal disc herniation-related tissue damage, although it is always wise to clear the use of supplements with your doctor first.
About Disc Herniations
Herniated discs, in most cases, occur when the inner, gelatinous portion of your spinal disc ruptures through your annulus fibrosis, a tough band of fibrous tissue that surrounds the more fluidlike portion of your disc. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, most disc herniations occur along your lumbar, or lower, spine, although about 8 percent of these injuries take place in your cervical spine, or neck. If your herniated disc material contacts a spinal nerve root, you may experience pain or other unusual sensations in your arms or legs.
Numerous nutritional supplements may be helpful in repairing your damaged spinal disc tissue. In her book, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch reports that zinc, copper, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, bovine or shark cartilage, free-form amino acid, manganese, L-proline, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids and a multivitamin and mineral complex may be helpful in treating this kind of bodily damage. A larger volume of clinical research trials may be necessary to evaluate the true effectiveness of these supplements for this health purpose.
Supplement in Focus
Vitamin C may be one of the most important nutritional supplements in repairing your ruptured herniated disc. Balch notes that vitamin C is crucial for the formation of collagen, a substance that helps bind your tissues together and helps maintain tissue integrity. Vitamin C is required for the proper repair of all tissues. Balch suggests a daily intake of between 3,000 and 10,000 mg of vitamin C, but you should always discuss proper dosage with a health care professional who specializes in clinical nutrition.
Disc herniations, though often agonizing and sometimes debilitating, commonly respond to conservative care methods, including dietary supplements. If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc, review all relevant treatment options with your primary care provider. Your family physician can counsel you on the risks, benefits and limitations of dietary supplements in repairing your spinal disc herniation-related damage. Some supplements may cause undesired health effects in certain individuals. Always use supplements under the care of a qualified health care professional.
- MayoClinic.com: Herniated Disk
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Herniated Disk
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010