If you cut your hand then without doing anything your body can heal that cut. The same is also true for the Discs in your neck and Back. There are studies that have taken MRI´s of people with bad disc herniations and then more than a year later without surgery they are no longer there.
|This Patient had Low Back Pain and leg pain for over 6 months and refused Surgery. Months later and receiving non-surgical treatment the MRI shows a complete absence of a Hernia|
The current understanding is that your body senses the chemical signature of the disc inside just as it would a virus and uses the same process to destroy the herniated disc. Once the ligaments that surround the gel like substance have healed and seal the disc, the disc can regain its height.
Why Your Bulging Disc isn’t Healing Itself
Your Disc is not healing itself for the same reason that if you fractured your leg and kept running on it, the fracture would never heal. There is to much force or load acting on your disc and that means it can’t heal itself.
You have to reduce the load till it’s healthier and better able to handle the stresses and pressure it used to be able to handle. In a small minority of cases with the most extreme of symptoms, Surgery may be the only option.
I typically see Patients after they have been suffering or in pain for months and things aren’t getting better. When I examine them I look out for a few things that could be stopping the natural healing processes.
Muscle Adhesions/Muscle Scar Tissue
If you tear a muscle or ligament your body will heal itself with scar tissue. This same response also happens when a muscle is held tight for a long amount of time without rest. Once your muscles/ligaments/tendons have this scar tissue then they cannot work as intended and end up putting stress on the spine and the discs in particular
Spinal Joints Not Working as They Should
Normally the joints in your spine move much like putting a plank on top of a semi-deflated ball and standing on it rocking from side to side. If however one end of the plank is held down then it changes to be like a nutcracker with your disc being crushed. When this is the case the joints need to be restored to functioning normally to stop the pressure on your discs. In this page there is a video demonstrating Chiropractic Adjustments changing how the joints in the neck work.
Things like the way you sit, the way you walk, how you lift things and other things related to posture can put a lot of stress on Discs. If these kinds of things are big contributing factors then they need to be changed.
There is also a more detailed post on Disc Herniation or Bulge at the L5 S1 level
Note: If you have had Disc Pain for more than a few days then you should see a professional to get it examined. This is especially true if you have other symptoms like numbness, tingling, symptoms somewhere else or any changes with regard to bowel or bladder function.
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