6 doctors weighed in:

Can a herniated bulging disk heal on its own?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chintan Sampat
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Chintan Sampat
Dr. Chintan Sampat
Thank
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: 75% in 2-12 weeks

90% of disc herniations are treated without surgery.
Most get better within 12 weeks. This is why 12 weeks of non op care is recommended as most will get better or are improving during this time period. The next 15% take longer &10% are treated by surgery. There is a 5% recurrence rate with or without surgery of another disc or same disc herniating. Bulging discs are normal variants, not bad.

In brief: 75% in 2-12 weeks

90% of disc herniations are treated without surgery.
Most get better within 12 weeks. This is why 12 weeks of non op care is recommended as most will get better or are improving during this time period. The next 15% take longer &10% are treated by surgery. There is a 5% recurrence rate with or without surgery of another disc or same disc herniating. Bulging discs are normal variants, not bad.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Eric Weisman
Board Certified, Neurology
32 years in practice
9M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors