Although success has been achieved with implantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) in degenerative discs, its full potential may not be achieved if the harsh environment of the degenerative disc remains. Axial distraction has been shown to increase hydration and nutrition. Combining both therapies may have a synergistic effect in reversing degenerative disc disease. In order to evaluate the effect of bMSC implantation, axial distraction and combination therapy in stimulating regeneration and retarding degeneration in degenerative discs, we first induced disc degeneration by axial loading in a rabbit model. The rabbits in the intervention groups performed better with respect to disc height, morphological grading, histological scoring and average dead cell count. The groups with distraction performed better than those without on all criteria except the average dead cell count. Our findings suggest that bMSC implantation and distraction stimulate regenerative changes in degenerative discs in a rabbit model.