Slipped disc, natural treatments that help us feel better.

backWe are going to talk about a disease that affects a great amount of people, slipped discs.

But we are going to do it from a nutritional point of view.

Which foods swell slipped discs, which ones reduce their swelling, how must we adjust our diet to get our slipped disc unswollen and to help in a quick recovery of its painful symptoms.

We are going to present different techniques and therapies for the treatment of slipped discs, all of them are additional to the nutritional therapy I introduce to you.

We are going to start from the beginning, what is a slipped disc?

Our spine is formed of some bones called vertebrae and some discs which allow us to move and to bend without pain.

When one or more of these discs suffer an injury and they get out of the space between the two bones that surround them, they cause pressure on the nerves found around the spine, and this receives the name of slipped disc.

Slipped disc symptoms

  • The pain caused by this nerve pinch produces pain all over our back, it goes on through our legs and in many occasions it arrives to our feet. It can affect our knees, mostly on their back side.
  • Our sciatic nerve is the one feeling the pressure, and that is the reason why the paing goes all through our leg.
  • Walking, coughing, sneezing or simply sitting down cause severe pain on all the affected area.
  • Night pain can be unbearable.

Even though it is more normal to suffer a slipped disc when we are over 30 years old, we can suffer it at any age.

Repeated low back pains can be a warning of a slipped disc.

30% of the healthy population have protrusions or slipped discs without any symptoms, they can also suffer common bachaches caused by malfunction of muscles or by muscle contractures.

Cervical slipped disc symptoms

  • Cervical pain, especially on the back or side of the neck.
  • Deep pain, around or on the shoulder blade of the affected shoulder.
  • Irradiated pain on shoulder, upper arm, forearm and sometimes on hands, fingers and chest.
  • Aggravation of the pain when coughing, making efforts or laughing.
  • Increase of the pain when bending our neck or turning our head sideways.
  • Cervical muscle spasms.
  • Weakness on arm muscles.

How can we reduce swelling on a slipped disc

To start with, the best way to treat a slipped disc is living a healthy life, the best we can do is prevent the slipped disc, and nutrition is the pillar for prevention.

We need to maintain healthy life habits, exercises like yoga, taichi, swimming, weight ligting, and mainly appropriate stretchings to maintain our spine flexible.

seeds and spices

What type of nutrition helps slipped disc treatment?

We must include in our diet some non toxic foods, organic foods, and we must maintain our body hydrated, drinking mineral water.

  • Vegetal milks
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Marine algae
  • Legumes
  • Better fish than meat
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts

We must avoid the following swelling and acidifying foods.

  • Red meats
  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Patatoes
  • Soy
  • Nuts
  • Tropical fruits
  • Honey
  • All foods containing chemical products, preservatives and dyes
  • Gluten
  • Table salt
  • Dairy products
  • White flours
  • Junk food

Foods that acidify our blood and swell our tissues the most are:

  • Dairy products
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Sugar
  • Red meats

We must also consider the foods to which we might be intolerant.

A way of nutrition based on non whole grain cereals, sugar, wheat, meat, and dairy products is a swelling and acidifying nutrition. The more acidified is our body the more inflamation we find in our tissues, and as a consequence slipped discs can be produced, and if they are already there, they can get worse and we can even get new ones.

There are cases of slipped discs or persistent pains on certain parts of our body which can be aggravated when eating certain foods.

Natural remedies of alternative medicine for lower back pain, sciatica and slipped discs


Infusion of thyme, oregano and horsetail.

Sciatica pains can be relieved with different herbs, which can act together as anti infectious, anti inflammatory and astringent.


1/2 lt of water

1 pinch thyme

1 pinch horsetail


  1. Boil the plants at low heat during five minutes.
  2. Let it rest for ten minutes.
  3. Strain and reserve.

How to take it

Have three warm cups each day, always before meals. The treatment can last, if needed, up to sixty days.

A very efficient anti inflammatory is Osteratil. A blister before breakfast and another one before dinner disolved in water. It will calm down the pain and reduce swelling in a natural way. Check with your natural food shop.

Plaster of clay and cabagge

The following remedy is indicated for low back pain and slipped disc.


3 spoons of apple vinegar

½ kg of clay powder

1 lt of mineral water

3 cabbage leaves


  1. Put the clay in a bowl
  2. Mix with water until we get a paste
  3. Add apple vinegar and let it rest


  1. Cover the painful area with a coating of the prepared mixture.
  2. Cover it with cabbage leaves and hold it with a cloth.
  3. Maintain it during twelve hours.

Clay is usually used to warm up the painful area and to calm down the pain, reducing swelling.



Guide of natural non aggressive therapies.

I present hereafter a series of alternative therapies to treat slipped discs.

The following article has been elaborated by Emilio Estivill Director of the Japanese School of Shiatsu in Barcelona.

He gets us into a millenary and very effective treatment of slipped disc.


Slipped disc with Shiatsu and traditional Chinese medicine.

Sometimes we ask ourselves, why different patients respond in different way to a good technique? The answer is very simple. Chinese Medicine gets diagnose of the syndrome- the cause of the disease-, it determines the Therapeutic Principle and finally it decides the best technique.

In 1996 I had a patient who had gone through slipped disc surgery four times. She came to me with chronic low back pains. She had been treated with physiotherapy and rehabilitation, by naturopaths and massagists without finding true relief to her grief. When a person with these characteristics comes to my office I ask myself: What can I do that hasn’t already been done by other therapists?

As usual, I determine the Syndrome according to Chinese Medicine: A slipped disc is a protrusion of spine discs, a weakening and destruction of the gristly ring. According to the MTCH this is due in general to the reduction of Qi in Spleen and Kidney. When doing a palpation of her general musculature on her whole body, I could feel how my fingers sunk into her flesh as if it were butter. Her muscles were atonic, soft, cold. The therapy consisted in the therapeutic principle: tonifying spleen and kidney. First I applied the Kenbiki technique – Strong rolled pinching on scars and contractured muscles. Then I did the Boston unpinching of the spinal nerves with the “Ca” technique, scraping the nerve. Then application of Basic Shiatsu on the paravertebral muscles, with special attention on the back and lower back acupunture points: V20 back 11, V21 back 12, V22 and V23 on lower back vertebrae L1 y L2 respectively. These are key points to recuperate the reduction of Qi in spleen and the yang difficiency in kidneys. Pressure over the basic lines on legs are also important because strengheting our legs we will also strengthen our kidneys and our lower back.

AMPUKU are pressures on our belly which act on our main organs. In the hipocondrial area, under our ribs, we stimulate directly: liver, spleen, stomach, gallbladder and pancreas. According to Chinese Medicine and Occidental Medicine, these organs are blood reservoirs. But only according to Chinese Medicine, these organs feed the muscles, tendons and ligaments. These fibers are the support for the bones and if they are not nourished and strong, the bone structure crumbles.The abdominal wall, formed with abdominal muscle, must be resistant and elastic at the same time. If we find a soft and fallen belly, it is logical to think that the back wall, the lower back area, will also give in. It literally sinks and produces a pinch of the spinal nerves. The area gets weaker and finally the slipped disc appears due to the destruction of the intervertebral fibrous core. One of the Ampuku’s objectives is strengthening the muscles and recovering lower back lordosis.

Most of my patients, including the woman we are talking about, are people living in Barcelona. And that is why there are two reasons that worsen the slipped disc pronostic of recovery if I don’t take care of it:

The first cause is the high index of humidity found in this city located by the coast, and the second cause is its pavements of cement, asphalt and tiles. Humidity causes rheumatic pain added to the cartilage injury, and the floor hardness causes a small impact affecting all our bones when we walk all through the day on this type of surface. Moxibustion or use of heat with sagebrush is important to dilute pathogenic moisture. And soft silicon insoles are recommended to cushion the impact when walking.The diet is another one of the pillars therapist must consider in order to correct a sure source of problems attacking spleen, pancreas and liver. Organs that participate in metabolization and nutrition of our whole body. Sugar and pastries will be totally forbidden because they are considered the thief of calcium. Equally forbidden will be: milk, cold foods and fats.

We must also consider the emotional aspect. The spleen sinking that causes all types of ptosis is charecterized in all these patients by an excess of reflexion, and of worrying. In many cases the person is obsessive and can’t take away certain ideas from his head. They are often hard-working people who work in excess and who have assumed the message of “hurry, hurry”. In fact they are “non-stop working machines” and only a disease that affects their locomotive system will stop them a little bit, bacause they will keep on working until the pain suddenly stops them. Rest, mild exercise, no weight lifting and a correct posture will be necessary for their recovery.

In Shiatsu one of the most effective techniques to treat psychological and emotional questions is the treatment of the Psychic line of points of accupuncture, that goes along the external base of the paravertebral muscles. Even though I must indicate that the efficience of Shiatsu is based in treating the patient’s body as a whole, because his entire body is participating in the recovery of the sick part.

In summary: Those who suffer of slipped disc or have gone through slipped disc surgery, are actually suffering of a syndrome of weakness in their spleen and kidney, and these organs must be tonified and estimulated. On the contrary, his body will go on with its weakening. Shiatsu is one of the best tools we have to treat this illness.


What is Chinese Medicine and how can it help us in the treatment of slipped discs.


Guang An Men

Chinese medicine, ancestral medicine originated in ancient China, has perdured and evolved along our history. During the second half of the XX century, this therapy has been introduced in the occidental countries and it has obtained great acceptance among people using it in these countries, who have found in it a different medicine, not aggressive and very preventive, obtaining efficient and quick results. Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine because it understands that there are no diseases, but ill people, it takes into consideration not only what is happening to the effected organ, but also what is happening to the whole body, the way it is manifested, how is it responding to external influence and to environmental stimulation.

The basic pillars of Chinese medicine are the Theory of Yin and Yang and the Theory of the Five Elements. Chinese Medicine’s principles and premises are taken directly from the traditional Taoist philosophy, the oldest and most singular school of though of China. The major premise of the Chinese medicine theory is that all forms of life in the universe are animated thanks to a vital energy named “Qi”. This “Qi”, essential substance of our body and of the universe, impregnates and penetrates the whole cosmos. Digestion, for example, brings out “Qi” from food and drink and it transports it all over the body, breathing brings out “Qi” from the air found in our lungs. When both of these forms of Qi meet inside our blood, the Qi circulates as vital energy through all the meridians or energetic channels.

Chinese medicine uses as main techniques the treatments with accupuncture, tuina and phytotherapy, which are applied according to the patient’s pathology. Other techniques used are suckers, moxibustion, auriculotherapy… One of the main characteristics of these treatments, apart from their effectiveness, is their lack of side effects, so frequent when using traditional medicines.

Guang An Men

The Guang An Men Clinics therapeutic team assists about 20.000 patients yearly.

The therapeutic team is formed by doctors, acupuncturists and native proffesionals, highly quialified in Chinese Medicine, who have a great curriculum and well-known experience. In our clinics, we treat multiple pathologies with the use of acupuncture (insertion of needles), moxibustion (application of heat), tuina (Chinese massage) auriculotherapy, phytotherapy (medicinal plants), in other words, Chinese medicine.

I hope having helped those who are affected, knowing other alternatives is always for our benefit.

About the Author:

Maribel Ortells - Nutritionist

Nutritionist specialized in autoimmune diseases, author and lecturer

Maribel Ortells Badenes

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