A herniated disc can cause significant pain and discomfort, which can stop you from your daily routine and enjoying the things you like to do in life.
At Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute, our double board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist Ronak D. Patel, MD, sheds light on the symptoms of a herniated disc and explains if the condition can heal without medical intervention.
Understanding the symptoms
A herniated disc occurs when the soft cushion-like material between the vertebrae in your spine protrudes through a crack in the outer layer. This can irritate nearby nerves, resulting in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Back or neck pain
- Radiating pain that travels along the nerve pathway (often extending into the arms or legs)
- Numbness or tingling (usually in the arms, legs, or buttocks)
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced reflexes
Dr. Patel can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine the severity of your condition.
Healing on its own: Yes or no?
While every case is unique, and individual healing times may vary, the majority of herniated discs do have the potential to heal on their own. The body possesses a remarkable capacity to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.
However, not all herniated discs can heal without medical intervention.
What factors play a role in natural healing?
Several factors influence the likelihood of a herniated disc healing on its own, such as:
Size and severity
Smaller, less severe herniations are more likely to heal without medical intervention.
Herniated discs located in the outer layers have a higher chance of healing naturally.
Your health and lifestyle
Factors such as age, overall health, weight management, exercise, and proper posture can impact your body's healing process.
Your diet can also affect the natural healing process.
Self-care measures to support natural healing
If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc and desire to heal naturally, try these options:
- Rest and modify activity
- Take over-the-counter pain medications to help reduce inflammation and pain
- Apply apply heat or cold packs to the affected area
- Work on your posture and body mechanics to prevent further strain on your spine
Physical therapy is another noninvasive natural method that can help you heal.
When to seek medical intervention
If your herniated disc pain worsens or persists, book an appointment to come in and see Dr. Patel. You should also seek medical attention if you experience sudden bladder or bowel dysfunction, significant muscle weakness, or loss of sensation, as these may indicate a more severe condition that requires immediate intervention.
Dr. Patel and our team are dedicated to providing personalized care and innovative treatment options. The goal is to give you an effective path to a full recovery.
If you have symptoms of a herniated disc, schedule an appointment with us for an evaluation at the office nearest you in Plainsboro Township or Manalapan, New Jersey. We can give you an accurate diagnosis and discuss strategies for healing, which may include natural options or medical intervention.
Call today or click here to book an appointment online.