Should You Take Collagen or Glucosamine/Chondroitin for a Herniated Disc

Should You Take Collagen or Glucosamine/Chondroitin for a Herniated Disc 1024 1024 Best Practice Health TV

This question recently came to me from YouTube. The answer is clear:


Glucosamine/Chondroitin and collagen protein supplement are food additives sometimes proposed for the treatment of low back pain due to arthritis of the facet joints. There is nothing in the medical literature to suggest they can help your herniated disc or even a degenerated disc. As it turns out, they’re marginally (or not at all) effective for arthritis, either. Let’s unpack this slowly, because there’s a lot going on here.

An annular tear in the outer part of a disc allows the inner part to herniate through. There are 2 potentially painful parts to that:

· Annular tear. Often from an excess force which tears the outer part of the disc, so the soft inner part comes through. This can happen in a car accident, or even lifting something heavy. Like the guy who said, “I flipped my house last week and all I got was 3 herniated discs.”

· Nerve root irritation. Since the inner part of the disc has no blood supply your body reacts as if it’s foreign to you, which hurts.

Since an annular tear MUST precede a herniated disc, the pain from those two often co-mingle.

Back pain due to arthritis is as different from these two as apples and oranges. Contrast herniated disc/annular tear pain with back pain due to arthritis.


Well, what about Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Osteoarthritis | NCCIH ( ? The NIH is a trustworthy source. They find chondroitin does not help arthritis, and there’s not strong evidence for glucosamine either. Then, there’s Collagen | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Collagen is an important building block for healthy joints. But just because you have it doesn’t mean it works. I searched the national library of medicine on PubMed for “collage” and “herniated disc” and didn’t find anything. It’s like the guy who buys a truckload of shingles, stacks them in his garage, and doesn’t get why his roof still leaks.

You can see the whole episode live on video here: Should I take glucosamine, chondroitin, or collagen for herniated disc?:

Dr. Dan Lieberman, M.D.