|Image: (c) Anne Asher|
If you've tried non-invasive treatments such as NSAIDs, steroid injections, physical therapy and a back exercise program for your herniated or bulging disc and you're still not getting better, your doctor may suggest surgery.
Discectomy surgery may help speed your healing. Theoretically, though, you could work with all above mentioned therapies (and perhaps a few qualified holistic therapies, as well) with similar results - after a year. In other words, if you take the conservative care route, it may take a year, but the disc will likely resorb into your body and you'll start feeling better again. Or you can have the surgery, which has an excellent success rate. This article on discectomy has the details.