The plain truth is that most herniated discs WILL heal themselves, given enough time and attention to rehabilitation. Depending on the location of the compromised disc and the way it is herniated, healing times vary from as low as 4-6 weeks to longer than a year and certain people and injuries are more predisposed to re-aggravation. The point is that each person’s injury is a reflection of their circumstances: lifestyle choices, degrees of strength and flexibility, genetic predisposition, and other factors contribute to a breaking point that leaves you in pain. Outdated wisdom would have you resting for weeks on end until the injury is healed, at which point you can supposedly magically get up and go. Today things are different: while an initial period of rest may be advisable, completely avoiding activity may be counterproductive to your healing.
At our office, we focus on alleviating the pain first so that you can conduct activities despite your physical limitation. Using chiropractic adjustment, therapeutic massage, and corrective exercise and strengthening, we open up the injurious region to an influx of healing nutrients and oxygen with enhanced blood flow. We focus on rebuilding the region by strengthening supportive muscles and using chiropractic adjustment to make sure that your range of motion is protected.
When the pain is manageable, we want you to resume a schedule of normal activity, albeit at a reduced intensity; any activity that creates or aggravates your symptoms should be immediately ceased. However, most people find that even with their pain they can perform light aerobic activities, stretches, and certain strengthening exercises. This prevents muscles from atrophying and tissues from becoming more vulnerable to injury due to lack of movement.