Simply having a herniated disc doesn’t mean surgery is your only option. In fact, MOST herniated discs are successfully treated without an operation!
A herniated disc is typically problematic only if it’s affecting a nearby nerve root. A small herniated disc may cause significant pain due to location. Whereas a large herniation may cause no problems at all.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is extremely important as well being informed of all options. Keep in mind surgery is rarely immediately necessary for a herniated disc unless symptoms are severe or potentially life-threatening. If you want to avoid surgery, find out if non-surgical spinal decompression is an option for you. Remember, you can always have spine surgery; you can never undo spine surgery.