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Can Herniated Discs Heal?

Lumbar disc herniation is a common disorder that can cause pain and limit function. Surgical intervention is usually considered, but before going under the knife, current literature suggests herniated discs may reduce completely or partially on their own!


The rate of spontaneous regression was found to be:


Disc Sequestration: 96%

Disc Extrusion: 70%

Disc Protrusion: 41%

Disc Bulging: 13%


In addition to the MRI showing regression of the discs, the majority of the patients reported significant pain relief and decreased low back disability over a 17 month period.


Take home message: conservative treatment should be considered for people with disc herniations that do not have neurogenic complications due to nerve compression. Physical therapy is a great option for conservative therapy to improve strength, mobility and function.


Do you or someone you know have back pain? I can help and I have appointments available same day or next day. Send me an email at or fill out my contact form.

Lauren DeYoe


Doctor of Physical Therapy

Reiki Master

Owner Reiki PT


Chiu CC, Chuang TY, Chang KH, Wu CH, Lin PW, Hsu WY. The probability of spontaneous regression of lumbar herniated disc: a systematic review. Clin Rehabil. 2015 Feb;29(2).


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