Glucosamine, chondroitin, and msm, help to heal and rebuild cartilage, and tendons. http://www.amazon.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Glucosamine-...
Shark cartilage also contains these ingredients. There have been numerous studies on this supplement, with mixed results. Msm helps with pain, and inflammation. It is a form of sulfur. Sulfur is needed either through the diet or supplements to maintain connective tissue. Sulfur containing foods include garlic, and onions, increase consumption. Magnesium is a body relaxer, and healing agent, as well as a pain reliever. Maybe taken in supplement form, or applied as a rub.
Increase water intake, chronic dehydration is a contributing factor in back pain, and muscle contraction.
Gentle exercise, yoga, or physical therapy, will help to get blood flow going, and promote healing. Will also relieve muscle tension, and stiffness that come from the results of disc degeneration.
For pain, curcuman, turmeric, and cherries have cox 2 inhibtors, pain relieving properties, that will help to relieve the pain.
Eat a handful of cherries as often as needed.