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Do Disc Herniations Heal? Or Go Back In Place?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Will your disc herniation heal or go back in place? Will your lower back pain or leg pain ever get better? My name is Dr. Grant Elliott with RehabFix and I am here to talk to you about disc herniations! Do they heal or go back in place? Let's find out!

Do Disc Herniations Heal/Go Back In Place?

Well you are in luck. Majority of disc herniations or bulging discs can spontaneously regress meaning that the disc herniation recedes back to where it originally came from and is no longer pushing out. One interesting fact for you is that the worse the disc herniation looks on a picture (MRI) the higher likelihood it has to regress and go back to where it came from and ultimately to resolve. A little bit counterintuitive right? Many individuals out there will get an MRI first thing when they hurt their back and are often told by the doctor "Oh this disc herniation is so large, this is so bad! You need surgery right away." But we know that's not true! The bigger the herniation the better chance you have for it to go back and therefore to resolve.

How Important is an MRI?

With that being said, we want to make sure we understand that the MRI is just one minor piece of the puzzle and that the picture or the amount that the disc herniation is bulging does not determine your success. It does not determine the level of your lower back pain, leg pain, or foot pain either although a majority of doctors will blame your sciatic nerve pain on the extent the disc herniation is protruding. So although we understand that the greater the disc herniation is the more likely it is to go back it doesn't have to go back for you to be pain free. That's why the assessment is so important to determine your level of function and current capabilities! A proper online assessment will reveal the cause of lower back pain, not just a picture!

Disc Herniations Can Be Normal?

So what does this mean. This means that majority of individuals just like you and me walking around have disc bulges and herniations on MRI. Even though we may have disc herniations right now I don't have any pain. You may not have any pain either. Many asymptomatic (meaning no symptoms present) disc herniations exist within a majority of the population. This is normal. Totally normal! This is why we don't want to let a picture determine the way we feel or determine the level of our success.

What If The MRI Looks The Same After?

Maybe your disc herniation is symptomatic and it's causing you problems. So we take an MRI and see that disc herniation and say "The reason for your pain is disc herniations." Then let's say you complete my online low back program with me. After this low back program you feel 100% pain free. You feel incredible! You feel like you can take on the world and you've achieved your goals! But then you go to get another MRI and the disc herniation is still there. Are you really better then?

The answer is YES you are better!

Don't Let Your MRI Trick You!

So we don't want to let the MRI determine our success. We want you, your goals, and your level of function to determine our success. So the big picture here is that sometimes disc herniations will go back to where they came from. They will eliminate and will regress and that can be a sign of recovery but even if the disc is just as far out as it was to begin with that does not mean you did not recover if you feel good, if your function is better, and if you can do whatever you want without issues.

What Truly Matters To You?

So it might go back in. It might not. Who cares!? We want to make sure that you are feeling better and that you can accomplish anything you want to in your life. What matters is that you can live a successful life achieving whatever you want. Pain free and unlimited to live your life to the fullest is what matters.

So, are you living your life at 100%? Or are you living a life of limitations due to low back issues? Sciatica? Bulging discs? Most people reading this are struggling with disc herniations or sciatica and are not sure what to do next...

What is the Next Step?

This can vary from person to person but in my experience with online clients around the world there is a similar pattern among many individuals with disc herniations or sciatica that is commonly missed. The majority of my clients in the RehabFix Online Low Back Program have had low back issues for years and have tried Chiro, PT, medication, injections, orthopedists - you name it! It seems like they all were missing some key components..... First I would recommend my free low back guide that discusses multiple factors that contribute to lower back pain!

Then if you still feel like you are

  • unsure

  • confused

  • wasting time

  • missing out on your life at 100%

  • wasting thousands $$$ on interventions that aren't producing results

  • working with someone you feel does NOT care about YOUR GOALS

  • worried about this leading to drugs or surgery

Then it's time to take action! No time to waste!

Ready to ATTACK Low Back Pain?

Are you sick of guessing your way through this low back pain?

Want to prevent drugs or surgery?


Thanks for reading! -Dr. Grant Elliott

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