Great post here by @dr.surdykapt
Explaining the resiliency of the human spine and how exercise is an effective way to improve symptoms!
Your intervertebral discs are NOT like jelly donuts. Have you ever seen a jelly donut squat 1,000lbs, dunk a basketball, or run 25 miles per hour? Me neither.
Did you know that up to 66% of lumbar disc herniations, of any variety, can actually demonstrate healing with conservative treatment? In fact, the worse the herniation, the better the spontaneous regression might be!
However, imaging does not necessarily need to show reabsorption of the disc for symptoms to improve. Research also suggests that specific loading through exercise may have the potential to impart healing to the intervertebral disc.
Surgery has its place, but understand that your body is resilient, you often CAN get better with time, and you can never go wrong getting strong through exercise.
Steele J, Bruce-Low S, Smith D, Osborne N, Thorkeldsen A. Can specific loading through exercise impart healing or regeneration of the intervertebral disc? Spine J. 2015;15(10):2117-2121. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.08.446.
Zhong M, Liu JT, Jiang H, Mo W, Yu PF, Li XC XR. Incidence of Spontaneous Resorption of Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Meta-Analysis. Pain Physician J. 2017;20(6):45-52.
Chiu C-C, Chuang T-Y, Chang K-H, Wu C-H, Lin P-W, Hsu W-Y. The probability of spontaneous regression of lumbar herniated disc: a systematic review. Clin Rehabil. 2015;29(2):184-195. doi:10.1177/0269215514540919.