How long does a bulging disc take to heal?

The healing timeframe for a bulging disc can vary considerably among individuals. Also, it’s important to understand that the goal of healing is symptom relief. Therefore, even if a bulging disc has not fully retreated to its original position within the spinal column, it may not require any further treatment should its symptoms resolve to the point that they are tolerable.

Still, you probably want to know when you can reasonably expect to begin feeling better, and that’s understandable. For the best advice regarding your projected recovery timeline, you should consult personally with a physician.

What can affect the healing of a bulging disc?

Many factors can influence the healing of your bulging disc. While some, such as your age and genetics, cannot be controlled, others can. For instance, to aid your recovery, your physician may suggest that you make some changes to your:

  • Eating habits. Proper nourishment can help your body recover faster. An optimal nutrition plan includes an appropriate balance of a variety of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains.
  • Activity level. Often referred to as “nature’s best medicine,” exercise can boost your blood circulation and enhance the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients throughout your body. To help you incorporate more physical activity into your routine, your physician may recommend some specific stretches and exercises that you can perform comfortably as your bulging disc heals.
  • Lifestyle. In addition to taking a toll on your general well-being, poor health habits can aggravate your symptoms and prolong your recovery. For instance, if you regularly sit for extended periods of time — either at work or at home — try to take frequent breaks to briefly stand, stretch and walk around.

Because there are so many factors at play, it can be difficult to predict the exact amount of time that will be required for a bulging disc to heal. Instead, your physician will likely provide you with a general range, such as several weeks or months, and emphasize that you should not become discouraged if the process takes longer than you expected.

Bulging disc treatment

If your symptoms do not respond well to the conservative steps you take to address them, you might consider more aggressive treatment, such as surgery. If this is the case for you, contact Laser Spine Institute to request a free MRI review.* Our team can explain your options and help you determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient surgery.

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