Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Do Annular Tears Heal?
    wanttogetbetter posted:
    Hello, I am new to this forum and have been in severe pain for the last three months. After many doctors, MRS, CT scans, etc. etc. I was diagnosed with annular tears. I've had two epidural steroids injections which did nothing. I just has a procedure called PLDD (Percatanous Lader Disk Decompression) with no relief. I'm currently taking pain meds, eating well, taking vitamins and protein drink. Does anyone know if annular tear heal with time (a lot of time)? I cannot do anything and was once very active. This is been life changing and I have never experienced pain at this level. I've had on and off back pain for years. In 1999 I had a microdisectomy on L5/S1. The annular tears are at L4/L5 and L5/S1. Am I alone, sure feels like it sometimes. Thanks for any feedback.
    davedsel responded:
    Hello and welcome.

    I am sorry you are having so much pain. I fully understand and empathize.

    Back pain is very subjective and unique to each patient. Some have minor problems but experience minimal or even no pain, while others with the same problem may be in a great deal of pain as you are.

    Have you seen a pain management specialist that is a physiatrist? This type of specialist goes deeper and offers many treatments and methods for managing pain.

    You can continue to do research on the internet. Below are some good sites.

    WebMD Back Pain Center:

    Spine Universe:


    I pray you find answers and relief soon.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    trs1960 replied to davedsel's response:
    I have a friend with. Such a tear and the biggest concer was what caused it. As I recall they had to repair it which was extremely touchy. His was in the cervical section so one slip and quadrapalegic. How do you know that you have such a tear? While I love physiatrists I would pass go and go straight for the neurologist.
    wanttogetbetter replied to davedsel's response:
    Thank you. I have seen several pain management doctors but they weren't physiatrists as well. Actually I was going to seek physiatrist help because I know I need help with depression to get through this.
    wanttogetbetter replied to trs1960's response:
    I have seen several pain management doctors and neurosurgeons. The doctor that did the PLDD procedure was a spinal surgeon specialist with over 30 years of experience as a spinal surgeon. I had a discorgram and CT scan confirm the tear. I am not sure what caused mine but can remember a certain event during which time it could have happened. I would seek a physiatrist for my mental well-being as the ongoing pain has caused major depression.
    trs1960 replied to wanttogetbetter's response:
    A physiatrist is doctor of physical medicine. Kinda like a cross between an orthopedic and a physical therapist on steroids. They are the best at finding non surgical solutions. They look at your body as a system and also specialize in rehabilitation.

    Dave mentioned a Pain Specialist that has a physiatrist background. This is a very good combination for chronic pain treatment. Most pain managment doctors come from anesthesia background. Some tend to be pill pushers, but I've had two I hold in higher esteem than my physiatrist (and he's a friend). Point is, a good pain doc is critical if you're into years of chronic suffering.

    If you're suffering depression I'd suggest you find a psychologist that specializes in pain. I've done that myself and it was very helpfull. I'm going to another PHD in a week or two. I just need to make sure my heads right before I go in fr the pain pump.

    Good luck and make sure you build an honest relationship with whatever doctor you see.

    Dave,joy, myself and others here have been through more doctors than we can keep track of. We don't necessarily agree on everything, but we respect each other's opinion as we know they were earned the hard way.

    Bottom line is you need a good doc to believe in you. Additionally a good psychologist may turn you around and get you on your feet!

    Unforetunetly there just are no easy answers. It's a tough journey, but if you do it right you will have many wonderful days ahead of you... Don't let the pain take those away,

    God bless


    Helpful Tips

    Try water therapy
    I also have had surgery for L5S1,protruding disc for sciatic pain. Everything was fine for a year. Then the pain came back and the doctor ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    22 of 32 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center