Can herniated disc heal on their own? You may get different answers on this question depending on who you ask. It’s true that symptoms from a herniated disc can subside over time often without medical intervention. But does that mean your herniated disc has healed on its own? Yes, your symptoms may resolve but that does not necessarily mean that your herniated disc has healed.
To have a better understanding of your condition, let’s tackle first how herniated disc causes pain.
Disc herniate either through a rupturing of the outer layer of the disc called annulus or through the breaking of the end plate of the vertebral body, allowing the soft gel-like centre known as the nucleus pulposus to ooze out. This gel can pinch or compress parts of your nerve sac which in turn causes pain. The nucleus pulposus contains inflammatory proteins that can cause enough inflammation in a sciatic nerve root in your lower back to lead to what is commonly known as Sciatica.
How does a herniated disc get better on its own, or become asymptomatic?
Three main processes are thought to reduce the symptoms caused by a lumbar herniated disc:
These factors may help minimize the irritation of your nerve roots. However, your disc can’t be said to have healed because your disc still has herniation. Your symptoms, however, may subside due to an absence or reduction of inflammation and/or pressure near your nerve root.
Managing Your Herniated Disc
If you have a herniated disc, the key question is not whether it will heal in a technical sense. MRI research studies have identified many people who have a sizeable disc herniation and yet are totally pain-free. So, the pressing question is “What kind of treatments and rehabilitation techniques can reduce your acute symptoms and prevent future problems?
If you have current symptoms from a herniated disc, there are known surgical options that have favourable results in improving pain and dysfunction. While early surgical intervention may be recommended for severe pain and disability, non-surgical treatment is usually the first prescribed course of action. The bottom line is not to worry too much about whether your herniated disc has healed. The important matter is whether or not you are experiencing pain from your herniated disc.
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