Do herniated discs go back into place?

Answered by Jason Smith

Herniated discs, also known as slipped or ruptured discs, can be a source of significant pain and discomfort. The good news is that in many cases, herniated discs do go back into place on their own, without the need for invasive treatments or surgery.

When a disc herniates, it means that the gel-like center of the disc has pushed through the tough outer layer and is pressing against nearby nerves. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. However, the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself, and in the case of herniated discs, natural healing processes often come into play.

The healing process of a herniated disc typically involves the body releasing enzymes that work to break down the herniated piece of the disc. These enzymes help to clear away the extruded material, reducing the pressure on the nerves and allowing the disc to return to its normal position. This process can take time, typically ranging from six weeks to three months.

During this healing period, it is important to take steps to support the body’s natural healing processes. This may include rest, avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain, and adopting good posture and body mechanics. In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend specific exercises or physical therapy to help strengthen the surrounding muscles and support the healing process.

It is worth noting that not all herniated discs will go back into place on their own. In some cases, the herniation may be severe or the body’s natural healing processes may not be sufficient to resolve the issue. In these cases, more invasive treatments may be necessary, such as epidural injections or surgery. However, these interventions are typically considered only after conservative measures have been tried and have not provided sufficient relief.

Personal experiences can vary when it comes to herniated discs. Some individuals may find that their symptoms improve relatively quickly, while others may experience a longer healing process. It is also important to note that while the majority of herniated discs do improve on their own, there is a risk of recurrence or the development of chronic pain. Therefore, it is important to maintain good spinal health and engage in preventive measures even after symptoms have resolved.

To summarize, herniated discs have the potential to go back into place on their own through the body’s natural healing processes. The majority of cases improve within six weeks to three months as the body releases enzymes to clear away the herniated piece and relieve pressure on the nerves. However, individual experiences may vary, and more severe or persistent cases may require further treatment options. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.