How to treat a herniated disc without surgery?

How to treat a herniated disc without surgery

How to treat a slipped disc (herniated disc) without surgery

What happens if a herniated disc goes untreated?

Will my herniated disc ever heal?

Can a herniated disc heal after 2 years?

How long does it take for a disc herniation to heal?


How to treat a slipped disc (herniated disc) without surgery?


Some slipped disks don't cause any symptoms, whereas others lead to severe back pain. A slipped disk in the lumbar region of the spine (the lower back) can press on the sciatic nerve and cause pain that often radiates down one leg and into the foot. Most people recover from a slipped disk within six weeks without treatment. Until then there are a number of treatment options that aim to help relieve the pain and improve mobility.

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Pain Medication

Pain medication is one of the first non-surgical treatments for a herniated disc that doctors recommend to their patients. The two most common pain medications are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids.

NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, are popular painkillers around the world, but their long-term use is often associated with cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues. For this reason, doctors sometimes hesitate to prescribe them for persistent symptoms. Steroids are another anti-inflammatory compound often used to address back pain. They can be administered orally or epidurally, but like NSAIDs, they have shown limited long-term benefit.





Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is another common way to address pain and discomfort caused by a herniated disc. Spine issues are often due to insufficient back muscle strength. For this reason, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy, which can strengthen your back muscles and reduce the strain on your spine. Physical therapy is typically more effective in the long term than pain medication.


Epidural Injections

An additional treatment for a herniated disc is an epidural injection. Much of the pain and discomfort caused by a herniated disc is due to inflammation and nerve irritation. For this reason, doctors sometimes inject steroids, which are strong anti-inflammatory compounds, directly into the affected area of the spine. The effectiveness of epidural injections depends on the patient, and they are often used in concert with other conservative treatments.


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Traditional Asian medicine

Treatment methods based on traditional Asian medicine include:

  • Acupuncture: In acupuncture the therapist inserts fine needles into certain points on the body with the aim of relieving pain.
  • Reiki: Reiki is a Japanese treatment which aims to relieve pain by using specific hand placements.
  • Moxibustion: This method is used heat specific parts of the body (called "therapy points") by using glowing sticks made of mugwort ("Moxa") or heated needles that are put close to the therapy points.


Treating pain and staying active

Acute low back pain usually has no clear cause and goes away on its own after a few days. And even if a slipped disk is the root cause, your body will probably be able to deal with the problem on its own within six weeks. Most treatments will have a very small effect on the speed of recovery. Hot packs or massages might help you feel better. If you have severe pain, relaxing by getting into a position that reduces the strain on your back and taking anti-inflammatory drugs or local anesthetics can help relieve symptoms over the short term. But most of the work is usually done by the body itself.


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What happens if a herniated disc goes untreated?

 A herniated disc can lead to more severe complications which can turn into a chronic condition. If the pain starts to interfere with your daily activities, it is highly advised to seek a diagnosis and treatment recommendations from a spine specialist as soon as possible. An untreated, severe slipped disc can lead to permanent nerve damage. In very rare cases, a slipped disc can cut off nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in your lower back and legs. If this occurs, you may lose bowel or bladder control. Another long-term complication is known as saddle anesthesia.


Will my herniated disc ever heal?

Most of the time, pain associated with a herniated disc goes away on its own over a period of weeks or months and does not cause permanent damage to the spine or nerves. A herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine, but it is most common in the lower back (the lumbar spine) and the neck (the cervical spine). Usually a herniated disc will heal on its own over time. Be patient, and keep following your treatment plan. If your symptoms don't get better in a few months, you may want to talk to your doctor about surgery.


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Can a herniated disc heal after 2 years?

In general, though, when there is no nerve damage, the long-term outcome for surgical and non-surgical treatment is the same when measured two years after symptoms begin. Fortunately, most people with a herniated disk never get to the point that they need to see a specialist or have advanced testing. A herniated disc in the lower back will heal within six months, as the size of herniation shrinks with time via resorption. Surgery may be needed if medication, physical therapy and other treatments fail.


How long does it take for a disc herniation to heal?

Recovery times vary from person to person. It depends in part on the extent of the problem and the type of treatment you're using. For most people, medication or physical therapy will improve their symptoms within about 3 months.


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10 common questions about How to treat a herniated disc without surgery

1How long does it take a herniated disc to heal without surgery?
For most people who develop back pain — whether it is because of a herniated disk or due to another problem — symptoms often go away within six to eight weeks. During that time, you can take steps to ease discomfort
2Can you fix a herniated disc without surgery?
Most people with a herniated disk don't need surgery. Rest and other treatments should start to improve your symptoms within 4 to 6 weeks. But if your pain doesn't improve, surgery might be an option. ... You're not getting relief from pain relievers, injections, and physical therapy
3Is walking good for herniated disc?
What Kind of Exercise to Do When You Have a Herniated Disc. You don't need to endure an intense cardio program or lift heavy weights—simple stretching and aerobic exercises can effectively control your herniated disc pain. ... Moderate aerobic activities, including walking, biking, and swimming, also help relieve pain.
4Can I make a herniated disc worse?
The pain from a herniated disc usually is worse when you are active and gets better when you are resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse when you make these movements because there is more pressure on the nerve
5What happens if a herniated disc goes untreated?
An untreated, severe slipped disc can lead to permanent nerve damage. In very rare cases, a slipped disc can cut off nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in your lower back and legs. If this occurs, you may lose bowel or bladder control. Another long-term complication is known as saddle anesthesia
6Is a herniated disc serious?
A herniated disk is a common condition that can be painful and debilitating. People also refer to it as a slipped disk or disk prolapse. In some cases, it can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in the limbs. However, some people experience no pain, particularly if the disk does not press on any nerves
7Can a herniated disc heal in a week?
Self care: In most cases, the pain from a herniated disc will get better within a couple days and completely resolve in 4 to 6 weeks. Restricting your activity, ice/heat therapy, and taking over the counter medications will help your recovery.
8Can you push a slipped disc back in?
A slipped disc (also called a prolapsed or herniated disc) can cause: lower back pain. numbness or tingling in your shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs or feet. ... pain in the buttocks, hips or legs if the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve (sciatica)
9Can I lift weights with a herniated disc?
A person can get a herniated disk through heavy lifting, a sudden pressure on the back, or repetitive strenuous activities. People with a herniated disk should avoid doing strenuous activities during recovery. People should avoid all exercises that cause pain or feel as though they are making the pain worse
10Is it safe to go to a chiropractor with a herniated disc?
Even if you only have lower back pain, your chiropractor will examine your neck, too, for example. ... To treat a herniated disc, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that may include spinal manipulation—also known as adjustments—and other chiropractic techniques to help ease your herniated disc symptoms


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