Recent findings suggest ⅔ herniated discs heal on their own- what does this mean for me?

There is a common misconception in the community that disc injury is a catastrophic event that is almost guaranteed to lead to long term pain, disability and potentially even surgery.

This in fact is not the case. Although many disc herniations do cause some degree of pain (sometimes severe) they are not a life sentence. Many people with a degree of injury to their back believe the best treatment is rest. Whilst you may need to tone down the heavy weight lifting, excessive end range bending/twisting movements and vigorous exercise, it is important that you don’t stop moving all together. It may be painful but even gentle movements can help to speed up your rate of recovery and in fact ease your pain.

My advice?

- Make a physio appointment for treatment and individualised rehabilitation.

- Speak to your pharmacist about anti-inflammatories and/or painkillers if the pain is severe.

- A heat pack will be your best friend.

- DO NOT stay in bed and “rest”.

- Avoid sitting in very low or soft chairs.

- Do at least 1walking lap around the house every 15-20 min in the initial stages after injury.

Hayley Miller

Physiotherapist

Matt Tribble