One of the best ways to encourage sleep is to induce physical weariness through active exercise. Chronic inactivity does not create a need for the deep sleep that is so helpful for physical and emotional healing. Clearly, stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine should be avoided at bedtime. Smoking should also be avoided because it diminishes the available blood supply and makes the nervous system more sensitive.
The healing process can be aided with appropriate nutrition, which includes adequate calorie intake in a balanced manner. If all calories consumed are in the form of sugars (such as breads, pasta, and sweets), any calories not immediately needed for energy are converted into fat. Extra weight can slow the healing process. A balanced diet includes adequate protein as a source of the building blocks of soft tissue healing. Additionally, fresh fruit and vegetables supply the vitamins and trace elements necessary for effective healing. A vitamin supplement may also be helpful.
Controlling anxiety and fear of re-injury and low back pain is very important to regain normal muscle function. The basis for these psychological reactions to low back pain lies in the central nervous system, which responds to pain by instructing the muscles near the affected part to protect against further injury. Only appropriate physical training that specifically tells the muscles to improve their function can overcome this neurological barrier to normal muscle function.
Nutrition for the disc is achieved when physical activities and exercise cause the disc to swell up with water and then squeeze it out - much like a sponge. When pain affects our physical activity, the injured disc is deprived of its nutrition and begins to degenerate.