A herniated disc will most likely heal itself naturally, but the time frame is hard to determine. Depending on the position of the disc and the way it is herniated, healing times can be as low as 6 weeks or drag on for longer than a year. More serious cases involve repetitive irritation of the injury: some people are predisposed to re-aggravation of the injury and lifestyle choices have a lot to do with it.
Don’t let the pain hold you back: While “resuming normal activity,” may be impossible, don’t avoid activity altogether. Resting with the injury is counterproductive: it may actually delay recovery because supportive muscles will stiffen and atrophy, and soft tissues will become more vulnerable to injury. Furthermore, the intervertebral discs can become brittle without any movement. The solution is to keep moving, even with the pain. We can show you how low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming, combined with range-of-motion preserving stretching and exercise can help a herniated disc heal quicker.
No activity should be undertaken that aggravates the standing symptoms. Finding your perfect level of activity may be difficult alone; it helps to get a professional opinion on the degree of the injury so that you can create a proactive plan to heal it successfully. At Holmes Chiropractic, we can help you implement a plan that involves chiropractic adjustment, therapeutic massage, corrective exercise and stretching that will get you back to a normal level of activity as quickly and naturally as possible.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.