Can a L4/5 herniated disc improve with only physiotherapy and exercise?Orthopaedic Surgery Sport Medicine Spine Health
Depending on the severity/size (or Stage) of your disc herniation in both your clinical signs and in your MRI, Stage 3 (large, severe) slipped disc must undergo surgery to improve no other choice !
Early Stage 1 (small, mild) and Mid Stage 2 (moderate disc bulge) can be "managed" by physical therapy whenever it "acts up" but without surgery cannot be permanently "cured".
As long as it doesn't escalate to Stage 3 or affect your quality of life/work, we can live with it with on-off treatment for relapses as long as physical therapy still helps, is non-invasive and can be repeated multiple times (unlike surgery).
In principle, low or non-impact "horizontal" exercises (swimming, yoga, etc) are safer for your lower back. You don't want high impact "vertical" exercises (running, racket games, etc) to stress your worn out L4-5 disc further !
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