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Resolution of Lumbar Disk Herniation without Surgery

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article on a website
Jennifer Hong and Perry A Ball
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Apr 21


A 29-year-old woman presented to the spine clinic with pain in her right leg, accompanied by paresthesia. MRI of the lumbar spine revealed a lumbar disk herniation resulting in substantial spinal stenosis and nerve-root compression.

PainSci notes

“Lumbar disk herniation has an uncertain natural history.” UNDERSTATEMENT. Check out these before/after pictures of a disk herniation that solved itself. Look closely where the arrow is pointing. Read the single paragraph description of the case. No scalpels were involved in this recovery. Now, did your concern level about disc herniations just drop 3 notches? Good, mission accomplished. File under “back pain rarely as bad as it feels.”

Related Content

  1. “Incidence of Spontaneous Resorption of Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Meta-Analysis,” Zhong et al, Pain Physician, 2017.
  2. “Progression of lumbar disc herniations over an eight-year period in a group of adult Danes from the general population: a longitudinal MRI study using quantitative measures,” Kjaer et al, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2016.
  3. “Magnetic resonance imaging in follow-up assessment of sciatica,” Barzouhi et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2013.
  4. “The probability of spontaneous regression of lumbar herniated disc: a systematic review,” Chiu et al, Clinical Rehabilitation, 2015.
  5. “Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc,” Belavý et al, Scientific Reports, 2017.
  6. “Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations,” Brinjikji et al, AJNR Am J Neuroradiol, 2015.
  7. “MRI Findings of Disc Degeneration are More Prevalent in Adults with Low Back Pain than in Asymptomatic Controls: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Brinjikji et al, AJNR Am J Neuroradiol, 2015.

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