What happens to an untreated herniated disc? Does it heal on its own, and if so, how long does it usually take?
Typically, the discs will heal on their own over time, depending on your health and condition. You may need to adjust your life to relieve stress and pressure from the disc to allow for better healing. Similarily, if you sprain your ankle by stepping in a hole, the ankle will not heal if you keep stepping in the same hole. Avoid the spine "holes" in you life.
If you need some self-treatment advice for back and/or neck pain, I recommend Robin McKenzie's book, 7 Steps to a Pain Free Life.
Dr. Christina Lasich, MD