Doctor insights on:
Will A Bulging Disc Heal
Yes!: Most lumbar disc herniations tend to heal on their own. Anti-inflammatory medication and traction type of therapy often helps to relieve the pain. The herniated disc often takes up to 3 months to heal. Seek medical attention if there is progressive pain, inability to walk, numbness, weakness, or any changes with bowel/bladder function. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more
They are similar: Usually a bulging disc refers to a disc that is starting to break down. Like an old tire, part of the disc weakens and begins to protrude into the spinal canal. A herniated disc is one that has popped and the contents of the disc rupture into the canal. Sometimes they are used interchangeably since they are similar. ...Read more
Yes: Bulging discs are part of aging. They are harmless for the most part. They can pop out after an injury but most of them just pop out just like that (without any significant trauma). Yes, they often "heal" themselves - and will not be visible on a followup MRI a year or so later. In general, discs degenerate and shrink over the years that's why we get shorter when we get older. ...Read more
Yes!: We never see them in older adults. Even for full blown herniations, the discs repair... http://casereports.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bcr-2013-201037. ...Read more
Can all disc bulges recover shape and decompress nerves over time? How to determine if a disc is ruptured, aside from discogram?
Short answer - no: Not all disc bluges or herniations will decompress or recover shape. Some of them may remain stable and not change or become worse depending on a variety of factors. If you'd like to know the stability of your disc bugles and their effect on nerves, you should see a neurologist. He or she may recommend an MRI of your spine to document changes over time. ...Read more
Yes: Start with physical therapy and core conditioning. At some point an epidural steroid injection might be helpful. If all else fails and your symptoms impact your activities of daily living, surgery can be curative. I would suggest seeing a spine surgeon with expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery if it comes to that. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Weeks to Months: Generally most people can get relief from sciatic pain doing the conservative care within 3-6 weeks. If it persists after that, it can take up to 6 months to heal by itself. Consider core strengthening exercises while you are on your own at home. You may still be a candidate for epidural steroid injections that may help relieve the pain while your body heals itself. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Herniated disk: Most herniated discs heal on their own. Initial rest, physical therapy and anti inflammation medication all work to speed up the healing time. Surgery is reserved for discs that don't respond to the above interventions with continued uncontrollable pain or motor deficit. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Possibly: If the herniation is acute (just happened) a common course is that these issues resolve on their own within 6-8 weeks. Often physical therapy and anti-inflammatories are important in the healing process. If the pain does not resolve with these conservative measures or is accompanied by lower extremity weakness/numbness you should seek the care of an expert as soon as possible. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Will a herniated disc at C6 that's pinching a nerve causing cervival radiculopathy unpinch and heal on its own?
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