Can a collapsed disc heal on its own?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a collapsed disc, you might be wondering if it will heal or, perhaps more importantly, whether you will need surgery. While the damage in your spine will not necessarily go away, your decision to pursue surgery will largely depend on how you feel. This degenerative spinal condition can produce symptoms that range widely in severity. Alternatively, it may produce no symptoms at all (at least initially).

Even though your collapsed disc will not resolve on its own, you may find that you are able to successfully manage any associated discomfort with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medications. If this is the case, a surgical procedure may be unnecessary, even though your damaged disc will remain unchanged.

What can nonsurgical treatment do for a damaged spinal disc?

It’s important to understand that nonsurgical treatment is only designed to alleviate collapsed disc symptoms, such as:

  • Chronic neck or back pain
  • Radiating pain, numbness or tingling sensations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Arm or leg weakness

Although you may feel better after addressing your symptoms with nonsurgical therapies, keep in mind that your spinal condition may still progress over time. If your damaged disc begins to interfere with nearby spinal nerves, you may experience new or worsening symptoms, at which point you might want to consider a surgical procedure if your quality of life is affected. Surgery, unlike conservative treatment, can actually address the underlying cause of your symptoms — the collapsed disc itself.

Surgical collapsed disc treatment

If you are interested in surgical treatment for your collapsed disc, you might be concerned about the risks associated with traditional open spine procedures, and that’s understandable. Did you know that Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive outpatient surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative?^ We do, and you may be a candidate. To request a free MRI review,* contact us today.