Health blog

How long can it take for herniated lumbar discs to heal without surgery?

February 1st, 2021
How Long for Herniated Disc to Heal Without Surgery

The majority of people who develop a herniated lumbar disc can recover without surgery, and how long it takes for a herniated disc to heal without surgery varies from person to person. 

However, it generally takes up to six weeks for herniated lumbar discs to recover, and this is important information for the up to 20 in every 1,000 U.S. adults that this condition affects annually. As your herniated lumbar disc heals, there are steps you can take to reduce how long it takes to heal without resorting to surgery

Steps you can take to reduce how long a herniated lumbar disc takes to heal without surgery

Reducing recovery time is a common goal when someone has a herniated lumbar disc. Some of the steps that can help you meet this goal include: 

  1. Limiting bed rest — Old-school herniated disc treatments included weeks of bed rest, but that’s no longer the case. Most medical professionals recommend staying still for only a day or two. After that, they prescribe staying as active as possible and resting only when you need to. 
  1. Doing short stretches of activity — On the other hand, doing too much activity right after you develop a herniated lumbar disc isn’t a good idea either. Instead, you should aim to do short stretches of activity followed by a brief rest. This is aimed at helping you avoid increasing your pain while helping to keep your muscles fit. 
  1. Not doing any heavy lifting — Often, lifting heavy objects can lead to a herniated lumbar disc. As a result, it’s a good idea to avoid lifting heavy objects until a medical professional clears you. If you don’t, you may end up increasing the severity of your injury and recovery time. 
  1. Going to physical therapy — Physical therapy is a key part of most conservative treatment plans for herniated lumbar discs. One reason for this is that physical therapists offer many treatment techniques that can help reduce your recovery time.


How can a physical therapist help treat your herniated lumbar disc?

How long your herniated disc takes to heal without surgery can depend on your physical therapy. Some of the techniques your plan can include to help reduce your recovery time include: 

Rehab Access Physical Therapy offers treatment for herniated lumbar discs

Ready to decrease how long it takes for your herniated lumbar disc to heal without surgery? Our team at Rehab Access PT is primed to help you recover from this issue as quickly as possible. We’ll start by doing a comprehensive evaluation of your back to confirm your pain is caused by a herniated disc. Then, our physical therapists will build you a personalized therapy plan designed to reduce your pain and recovery time. We can even work with you in your own home if you sign up for a virtual therapy appointment

Contact our team today for more information about how we can treat herniated discs or to schedule an initial appointment.