Herniated Disc Recovery Time

When you have a herniated disk, the pain can be intense. A disk is a somewhat rubbery cushion that sits between the individual vertebrae in your back. When a disk becomes herniated, it bulges out from its usual place. This can result in pain as the disk presses on nearby nerves. It can also lead to weakness or numbness in an arm or leg. Some lucky individuals never experience symptoms of a herniated disk. Others suffer from pain so severe that surgery is a must – fortunately, the need for surgery is very rare. However, those who do need surgery might wonder about herniated disc recovery time and what that recovery might be like.

Herniated Disc Recovery Time

1. What Is the Recovery Time of Herniated Disc After Surgery?

The time it will take to recover from surgery depends upon the type of surgery you had and how significant the work was.

  • Open Back Surgery

This surgery requires four to five days of recovery time in the hospital, plus an additional four to six weeks before you can return to work. The recovery time would be longer if you are working in a job that requires lifting and the like. Expect to take many months and sometimes even years to return to a full range of comfortable motion.

  • Laser Herniated Disc Surgery

This surgery is much easier to take and results in most people being released during the same day or spending a single overnight in the hospital. Physical therapy typically begins immediately and you can expect to be back at work within a week. Full recovery typically takes six weeks.

2. What Is Herniated Disc Recovery Time Without Surgery?

If you opt not to have surgery, you can expect your back to feel better within two years. But you don’t have to suffer from the pain during the recovery time. You can take advantage of an acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic care and injections of medication to help you through.

How to Recover from Herniated Disc

No matter what treatments you choose to combat the herniated disk, always pay attention to what your doctor tells you. Several treatments might be required in order to obtain relief so don’t be alarmed if it takes some time.

1. Take Medications

Speak to the doctor about medications that might work for you. In many cases, over the counter medications will be enough to keep mild pain in check. For more severe pain, talk to your doctor about narcotic pain medications or other treatments that can help you alleviate the pain during your herniated disk recovery time.

2. Follow up with a Physical Therapist

In many cases, physical therapy is essential to teach you how to move without pain. Speak to a physical therapist about an exercise plan that will strengthen your back while making it easier for you to heal.

This video can give you some insight into exercise during herniated disk recover time.

3. Modify Your Physical Activity

Try not to put any strain on your back and modify your physical activity. For instance, you don’t need to be lifting anything heavy or bending deeply when you have a herniated disk.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

The more weight you are carrying, the more of a problem you will have with healing. If you have a healthy weight, your back is under much less pressure. Lose weight and work with your physical therapist to figure out a good exercise plan. This will shorten herniated disc recovery time.

5. Try Natural Relief

Natural relief can come from warm or cold compresses, wearing a brace to provide stability and physical therapy to help you learn how to move without pain.

6. Surgery

Having surgery might be considered a last resort for some, but it might also be the only way to truly overcome the pain and inconvenience of a herniated disk. Speak to your doctor about the different types of surgery as well as what to expect during the herniated disk recovery time.

What Have Other People Tried About Herniated Disc?

Many people suffer from herniated disks. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done and many success stories from those who have gone through this pain before you. Here are a few things that others have tried to help with the pain of a herniated disk and shorten herniated disc recovery time:

  • Some people hang on an inversion table for 10-15 minutes per day. This helps straighten out the spine.
  • Stretches are a good idea, but only under the supervision of your physical therapist.
  • Injections of steroids and painkillers can help alleviate the pain enough that you can continue with your day-to-day life. However, be careful not to irritate your back. These treatments can make you feel as though you are healed, but you aren’t just yet.
  • Speak to a pain management center about what you can do to help the pain without going through any sort of addiction to painkillers.
  • Physical therapy is always a great resort for those who are suffering from pain. 
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