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Mailbag! 6 Ways to Relieve Spinal Pain

I have degenerative disc disease, and I was wondering if you could tell me some ways to make it easier.

–Pamela from Albuquerque, NM

Pamela,

As I’m sure you already know, degenerative disc disease happens when the discs between the spine’s vertebrae shrink. This tightness makes it difficult for the nerves that travel through the spinal column, and they become pinched, causing pain.

Degenerative disc disease happens to a lot of us as we grow older, but not everyone suffers from pain.

While you might feel unlucky that you’re one of the people who has the pain, it can also bring you hope knowing that the right treatment can help relieve the pain.

The mainstream way to treat disc disease is to take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and others. I don’t recommend those drugs for long-term use with my patients because of the damage they can cause.

A drug-free way to treat disc disease is to eat a low inflammation diet. While this can sound complicated, it just means staying away from foods that cause inflammation, including vegetable oils (like corn, sunflower, soybean, and others), sugar, and any processed foods.

Besides a diet, try some of the following:

  • Stay active. While it can be hard to move around when you’re in pain, this is one of the best ways to relieve it. And it doesn’t have to be anything drastic— simply walking can do wonders. I suggest adding in a stretching routine as well, which can be found online. Make stretching as part of your day by doing it during commercial breaks when watching TV or set an alarm to go off a few times during the day.
  • Physical therapy or chiropractic care. You cannot always find a practitioner or afford one, but they can dramatically help people with disc disease.
  • Collagen. It’s a good idea to promote collagen production by using bone broth that’s high in natural collagen. You can also take collagen supplements.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight can relieve pressure on the spine, and the less pressure put on it, the better.
  • Natural anti-inflammatories. There are many spices, like ginger, turmeric, rosemary, that can be added to food. You can always supplement with those spices if you don’t like the taste, or you want to make sure you are getting enough to be effective. Boswellia is another herb that works well to reduce inflammation. I also recommend that folks take 1-3 grams of fish oil a day to help keep inflammation at bay. CBD, an extract of cannabis, can help tame inflammation as well.

Your best bet to reduce pain is to do as many things as you can, and work with your doctor to make a “formula” that’s best for you.

 

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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