Features May 2011 Issue

Herniated Disk? Patience Trumps Surgery

As we get older, the likelihood of back pain related to disk problems increases. And while a herniated disk sounds especially troubling and painful, the encouraging news is that the problem usually can be addressed without surgery. "About 80 percent of disk herniations will get better on their own within three months, no matter what you do," says R. Douglas Orr, MD, Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health. Moreover, in many cases, a herniated disk causes no symptoms at all.

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