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Myth Busting 2: Does my disc need surgery?

· 2 min read

Part of the "Myth Busting" series

We've talked before on my Facebook page about how discs don't really slip. But there's some exciting new research with even more good news for discs!

Disc bulges can re-absorb (resorb). That means the bulge can suck itself back in. Spontaneously. With no surgery or treatment necessary.

Here's a picture from the research to prove it - can you see the disc sucking back in over time?

And not just the little ones. One of the research papers included a lady who had a large disc bulge in her neck and had experienced sudden quadriparesis (noticeable weakness, but not total paralysis, of all four limbs). Her disc bulge and all her symptoms got better by themselves, with no specific treatment, over 28 months.

In fact one study recommends that lateral disc bulges (these are the bulges that go out to the side into the nerve root, rather than backwards into the spinal cord) resolve so frequently that conservative treatment (ie, non-surgical) should be the first port of call. Especially if there is also radicular pain, like sciatica.

So if you are struggling with a disc issue, remember this:

  • Your body is capable of healing
  • Discs spontaneously resorb very frequently
  • Your spine is ultimately very stable
  • You do not need to immobilise your back or put yourself on bed rest

See other posts in the "Myth Busting" series