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Lumbar Herniated Disc - Treatment Overview

Your doctor may recommend a short period of rest or reduced activity followed by a gradual increase in activity.

Usually a herniated disc heals on its own. So most of the time nonsurgical treatment is tried first, including:

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  • Heat or ice, exercise, and other steps at home to help with pain and make your back stronger. For more information, see Home Treatment.
  • Physical therapy. For more information, see Other Treatment.
  • Pain medicine. For more information, see Medications.

You're likely to get the most benefit if you have treatment before you've had more than 6 months of symptoms.2

Surgery

Surgery is eventually done for about 1 out of 10 people. It can be a good choice for people who have nerve damage that is getting worse or pain that hasn't improved after at least 4 weeks of nonsurgical treatment.1 For more information, see Surgery.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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