How Long Does It Typically Take for an L5-S1 Herniated Lumbar Disc to Heal?


Quick Answer

An L5-S1 herniated lumbar disc does not heal; rather, the pain usually goes away after four to six weeks of home treatment, states Mayfield Clinic. Pain may decrease just a few days after self care begins.

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Full Answer

An L5-S1 herniated lumbar disc occurs when the spongy disc between vertebrae L5 and S1 in the back becomes damaged. The gel inside the nucleus bulges out or breaks open and may press upon a nerve, notes WebMD. Wear and tear that results from aging is the most common cause of this condition.

Conservative treatment alleviates symptoms in 9 out of 10 patients, reports Mayo Clinic. Patients have a few days of bed rest, then begin a regimen of physical therapy combined with pain medication. If exercise and therapy do not improve the pain after four to six weeks, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove the protruding area or the entire disc.

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