A ruptured or herniated disc often heals on its own, and patients can treat it at home with rest, exercise, medications, and heat or ice, according to WebMD. Doctors may prescribe physical therapy if home treatment doesn't work, and surgery serves as a last resort when other treatments fail.
Although resting the back is important when attempting to heal a ruptured disc, too much rest can be a bad thing, so WebMD advises people not to rest for too long, explains WebMD. Exercise, such as a short walk every two to three hours, is also a way to deal with a ruptured disc. It is important to walk on a level surface and only for as long as it is comfortable to do so.
Pain medication can also help to heal a ruptured disc, and patients should take it on a regular schedule for the best results, claims WebMD. Some people also find relief with ice and heat applications, but this is not the case for all. Others may find relief with either ice or heat but not both. If using heat, a heating pad, hot shower or single-use heat wraps can bring relief. If choosing ice, patients should use an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes every two to three hours.