The primary question that comes to mind of an individual with a bulging disc mind is that how long will it take for the bulging disc to heal.
The answer to this question depends on the various factors ranging right from the genetic makeup of the individual, the extent of the disc bulge and the severity of it, diet and the rehab program that has been designed for the patient for faster recovery of bulging or herniated disc.(1)
For some individuals it may take up to a year or two to completely recover from disc bulge while it may take far less time for another individual to recover from the same injury. This article gives a brief overview of how long does it take to heal from bulging disc and what are the factors that play a key role in the recovery process.
How Long Does a Bulging Disc Take to Heal?
As stated, the recovery period or the time required to heal from bulging disc is variable (2) and depends on various factors. It basically depends on a case to case basis.
There is not one physician who can tell exactly as to how much time it will take for an individual to completely heal from bulging disc but can give an approximate time frame based on the various factors that affect the recovery process that we will be discussing in detail below.
Some of the factors that affect the recovery process and allow a physician to provide an approximate time frame for complete recovery from bulging disc are:
Genetic Makeup: The overall genetic makeup of an individual plays a small but key role in deciding how soon an individual will heal from a bulging disc. Let us take a case of two people with bulging disc in the same location and of the same severity.
The individual with a better genetic makeup will heal faster and will have a tendency to recover quickly from the injury than the individual whose genetic makeup is not that strong.
In fact, such individuals will take a long time to heal from any injury or condition as a result of their genetic makeup. This is something which is beyond the control of a physician.
Hence, there is not much that can be done about it; however, such people should not be disheartened by it as they can compensate for the inadequate genetic makeup by giving full effort in the other portions of the recovery phase, namely exercise, nutrition, and modifications of lifestyle.
Diet/Nutrition: This plays a key role in deciding how soon an individual can heal from a bulging disc. Again, we can assume two individuals with bulging disc in the same location and of the same severity. The one that takes a well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables have a better chance of early recovery than the individual who does not adhere to a balanced diet.
Rehab Program: The exercise and rehab program formulated by the physician during the recovery phase of the treatment for bulging disc also has an important role to play when talking about how much time it would take to heal from bulging disc.
An individual giving full effort to the rehab program to increase the strength and endurance is likely to have a faster recovery than an individual who does not give full effort in the exercise program.
Severity of Bulge: The extent and severity of the disc bulge also is a factor when it comes to the healing time for bulging disc. If the disc bulge is small and is not impinging on a nerve root then in such cases the healing time is much faster than cases where there is a severe disc bulge to an extent that it is impinging on the nerve roots and there is severe damage to the discs and vertebrae.
Lifestyle Modifications: This is also an important factor for the time taken to recovery from bulging disc. Avoidance of activities that may aggravate the condition is a must when it comes to recovering from a bulging disc.
If an individual has a job which requires him or her to sit for prolonged periods of time or drive long distances then it will take longer time to heal from bulging discs when compared to those individuals who do not put so much stress on their spine so that their spine gets ample amount of time to recover and heal from the bulging discs.
Previous Injury History: Someone with a history of previous back injuries or problems with the spine will take much longer time to heal from bulging discs.
As it can be seen there are various factors that affect the healing time for bulging discs. It should be noted here that all the cases of bulging discs differ from one another in various ways and the response of patients to various forms of treatments also differ.
Citing an example, a patient may respond favorably to certain exercise routine while another patient may not respond as favorably as the first one. Same goes for dietary intake where some individuals may see signs of recovery faster than others with just a good balanced diet alone.
To summarize, it can be said that it is extremely difficult to predict the time that it will take to heal bulging disc. The treatment modalities may be the same for all patients but the ultimate outcome is significantly variable which makes it extremely tough to predict exactly as to how long will it take to heal from bulging disc.
It is also emphasized that an individual should not feel discouraged if he or she is slow to progress in the treatment phase as it all depends on how the body reacts to various forms of treatment and the patient needs to be reassured that eventually they would Heal from Bulging Disc.
8 Exercises To Avoid For A Bulging Disc
- Lumbar Disc Bulge: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment- Manual, Physical, Magnet Therapies
- Massage Therapy for Bulging Disc: The Mini-Back Bend Technique!
- Can Disc Bulge Qualify For Disability Benefits?
- Central Disc Protrusion: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
- What Happens if You Have Disc Bulge & How Long Does it Take to Recover?
- What Causes A Disc To Bulge & Can It Be Reversed?
- Can Cervical Disc Bulge Cause Facial Tingling or Pain?