Can a Herniated Disc in the Neck Heal on its Own?

Herniated Disc In The Neck

On the back, some bones make up the spinal column, and some small, soft disc cushions these bones. If these discs are in good shape, they behave like a suspension system or shock absorber for the spinal column to aid flexibility. However, when the disc gets impaired, the effect is that it may protrude. This situation is what we call a Herniated Disc. It is sometimes called a ruptured or slipped disc.

A herniated disc often occurs in any part of the spine. But the most common place it happens in the lower back (lumbar spine). It also affects areas like the cervical spine and the thoracic back (upper back). The pain in the upper back is usually rare.

How Does A Herniated Disc Happen?

Many things can cause a ruptured disc. Two of the most likely causes are:

  • Weathering of the Disc
    Age factor is the most common cause of a depletion in the disc. When people get older, the disc begins to weaken and is no longer flexible as to when you were young.
  • Spinal Column Injury
    When this happens, it makes the firm outer part of the disc to crack. Hence, the thick fluid substance inside the disc comes out forcefully through the cracks.

Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc

Herniated disc causes several feelings in the affected area like pain, lack of sensation, and weakness, especially when it touches the nerves. It occurs in the lumbar spine or lower back, it may bring you pain or you may lose sensation on the backsides till it gets to the leg. We call this situation Sciatica. It is the general symptom of anyone who has a ruptured disc in the lower back.

If the slipped disc does not press on your nerves, you get a slight ache on your back or not at all. If you feel that both legs are numb and you also notice that you lose control of your bowel, this may be because you have a severe disorder, which is also rear. It is called Cauda Equina Syndrome.

How To Know If You Have A Ruptured Disc

To diagnose a herniated disc, a physician will ask questions you get and carry out an examination on you, such as an MRI or Ct scan. However, if you have symptoms that vividly point that you have a ruptured disc, a test may not be necessary.

Treatment For Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can get better with treatments. But these treatments may last for weeks or months. To get better:

  1. Take a Break for Severe Pain: if you have a seriously ruptured disc, you should probably stay in bed. But if it is a simple minor ache, staying active will be the best solution for you. It is because resting for too long can weaken the muscle and worsen the pain.
  2. Try a Heated pad: use a heated object like an ice pack for about fifteen to twenty minutes every two to three hours. If this does not work, try taking a warm bath or buy a disposable heat pad you can use once. Use it for seven to eight hours.
  3. Exercise: your therapist, doctor, or physician may give you an exercise routine to follow. Ensure that you do it because it will strengthen the back muscles and prevent a recurrent injury.
  4. Medication: your doctor may give you medicine to take, so make sure that you take them. Taking medications can help ease your pain. But, they do not heal a herniated disc. What they do is reduce the swelling on the affected area and the pain you feel there.

Can A Herniated Disc In The Neck Heal On Its Own?

Most times, a ruptured disc in the neck tends to heal by itself as time goes. So, have a little bit of patience and ensure to follow the treatments prescribed by the doctor. When the symptoms that you have a herniated disc do not improve after a few months, your doctor might recommend surgery.

Can I Prevent Herniated Disc from Occurring?

It is not entirely possible to prevent a ruptured disc from occurring. However, if you take proper care of the body, this disorder to the cervical region may not happen. If it does happen, you need to take proactive steps to get better because when you have an injury to your lumbar spine, you may frequently have backaches in the future. So, to keep your spine healthy and working, do the following:

  • When Lifting, Protect Your Lower Back
    There are some forms we take when lifting that does not suit the lower back. Such positions include the knees together and bending forward from the waist. These positions do not work well for the lower back. So, avoid doing them. Instead, lift with your legs and not with the back. Also, when you want to carry an item, bend with the knees and squat.
  • Good Posture Matters
    A good body posture will give your body a sturdy and long-term build. When moving around, try drawing your chin back, tuck in your belly and keep the shoulders down. Studies show that this routine can aid in giving a faster relief to the lumbar spine.
  • Exercise Regularly
    Many people engage in physical activities like exercise because they want to keep a fit body. Well, this is also the case with a ruptured disc. When you exercise regularly, you reduce the chances of having a weak muscle or spine. Exercise routines help keep your body free from a herniated disc.
  • Say no to Weighty Objects
    If you engage in routines that make you lift heavy objects, try stopping them. When you keep carrying heavy things, it increases the possibility of getting a herniated disc.
  • Say no to Smoking
    Smoking kills quicker and faster than you can ever imagine. So to heal a herniated disc, avoid smoking. It may increase the possibility of you getting a ruptured disc.

What Our Doctors Have To Say About Herniated Discs Healing On Their Own


Dr. J. Alex Sielatychi