It is vital to understand the anatomy of a herniated disc before tackling the prevention and treatment of the injury. The human back is composed of many components that regulate mobility and general function of the body. The vertebral column, commonly called the spine, permits humans to stand upright. Also, it protects the spinal cord and the primary nerves located within the cord. The spine is composed of bones called vertebrae, and between each vertebra is a round flat pancake-like disc. In the middle of the disc is a hole with a large diameter, and the opening houses a liquid gel called the nucleus pulposus. The gel distributes pressure to all parts within the disc to allow for the absorbance of shock and cushion. The gel is forced out of the disc when a crack or tear occurs. This was the case of the woman. Her disc in the lower back had cracked and the gel oozed out. Thus, the disc slips and a herniation develops. The pain is caused by the released gel coming into contact with the nerve inside the spinal cord. Avoidance of the pain begins with prevention of disc tears. By not allowing the gel to escape the interior of the disc, one is able to avoid a disc slippage and therefore live a healthy life. A herniated disc is treated by thinning the inflammation caused by contact between the escaped gel and nerve. After treatment, the disc can be moved back into position.
The general population has heard of eating right from an early age. However, it is not stressed enough how important a diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, and lean protein such as fish, chicken, and beans is towards limiting disc degeneration. Prevention of cartilage damage begins when the body sustains proper levels of Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins C (found in strawberries, oranges, and most fruit/vegetables), Vitamin D (eggs, fish, dairy products), and Vitamin E (nuts, spinach) as well as minerals like glucosamine (crustaceans like shrimp have it) and chondroitin (chicken cartilage contains it) reverse