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Nerve damage healing time


I have had sciatic pain for the past 2 years, but the pain has been minimal for the past 2 months. The pain has gone but not 100%. I can do day-to-day activities fine without pain, but when I run I still get some pain, and I have tried to play soccer but there is too much twisting and turning involved which alleviates the pain.

I now believe that my herniated disc (self-diagnosis) has healed (or almost healed) and now my pain may be from nerve damage. I have done some research and I have read that the nerves usual recovery time is around 12-18 months, but I have also found other information which says that the nerve never really heals 100%.

What is your opinion on this? Has anyone had a herniated disc L5-S1 and took a while to heal completely (to the stage where they can play sports again). Is the almost 2 years of disc herniation without treatment a possibility that I may have permanent nerve damage?

For anyone who is interested in how I managed to reduce my pain after 2 years; I bought a new mattress which was quite expensive and I now stop the semi-lying down you do when in bed on the laptop or watching TV.

Still not 100% but I am very hopeful that I will get there one day as I have improved significantly from where I was, and hopefully it can continue.

Thank you all to everyone on this forum for sharing your views and helping each other!



  • Your story sounds very hopeful. I still don't know my diagnosis. I have some sort of L4/L5 nerve impingement between the spine and the hip. My foot is very painful. No change in 6 months. So I have been stretching and doing exercises hoping for some results -- and funny thing, I have bought a new mattress as well! I also have been looking into whether the nerve fully heals. My understanding is that peripheral nerves can heal unless they are cut, and even then can regrow at a rate of 1mm/day. But nerves are a weird and varying thing. Some people claim to have permanent nerve damage, so I don't know what sets them apart other than having had some severe trauma. How are you doing 8 months after your post?
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