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Help...MRI or Physical thereapy for Disk problems...???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
Newbie here,

This will be my second round of Physical Therapy in a bit over two years for the same thing(starting tonight). Also have gone to Chiropractor, which included PT, massage thereapy and manipulation. Both help for about a 6 month stretch. About two weeks ago it started all over again, so bad I could BARELY walk or sit for nearly a week, first two days were the worst. I think I sat in a chair wrong... Walking, sitting better now after rounds of oral steroids and multiple pain pills. My doc mentioned an MRI at last appt, but since I showed improvement from meds, he want to try PT. My husband wants me to get the MRI done to find out WHAT is wrong! Any suggestions?


  • would definitely get an MRI before moving further. I delayed medical treatment, had an incredible amount of chiropractic appointments instead and will never know if they caused or made worse my massive herniated disc. I did feel better about 24 hours after each session, but I had a major problem causing numbness, pain and leg weakness, and I was just in major denial.

    Please let your doc do an MRI so you don't further injure yourself due to the "unknown". You can then decide what you want to do about the MRI findings. But for now, information is power.

    Take care,

  • I would say get an MRI. Also until you find out what's going on be careful with manipulation by the Chiropractor. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • :D hi and welcome to the forum! =D> we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. have a look around the different forums and make yourself at home. good luck as you search for pain relief! :D Jenny :D
  • Thank you for all replys. I think I will rescedule my PT appt. for tonight until I can talk with my doctor again. I have a call in but no return yet. When this first happened two years ago my doc said a slight slipped disk, then when it happened again and I tried a Chiro (non-manual manipulation cause the cracking thing scares the heck out of me) he said degenerative disk disease and that he could help if I came 3 times a week for 2-3 months! Well after about five visits and admittedly did feel better I couldn't afford it anymore and stopped going. When this happened again two weeks ago, I made an appt to go back but then cancelled it to go to my family doc. I am SICK of popping pills that aren't working. I hate taking steroids and the pain pills don't help unless I take at night only.
    I really do appreciate the replys from all, as silly as may sound I don't feel so "alone" with this. I feel like I am being robbed of part of my life...Kids, quality of life, day to day... Granted it could be ALOT worse and I am thankful it is not so far, but it still stinks!!! I am glad I found this site. I wish all of you the BEST and THANK YOU again!
  • I would get an MRI .You need to see what is realy going on in there . My doctor sent me for an MRI the first time I saw him .Realy if you haven't had one who realy knows what is going on .And for chiropractors they can adjust whatever they want if there is a problem adjusting ain't gonna fix it .this is just my opinion not medical advice.
  • My mom had bulging disks. She did physical therapy and they are no longer bulging because she got a lumbar traction unit. In my opinion, it is not good to manipulate a spine... don't have someone mess with your spine. Your spine is your lifeline! Stick with MD's and alternatives for pain like water aerobics in a spa, ect. Also, get an MRI. I am one month into the whole back pain thing and just had one. Good luck to you and keep us posted on how you are doing! I hope you have the same luck my mom had. Sitting in that thing for bulging disks eliminated the problem COMPLETELY!!!! :)
  • Do not give up on treatment for your back! I had knee problems for years and pushed for surgery and when they got in there, it was not a pretty sight. I knew that was the next step as an informed patient and I don't have knee pain anymore. So, just keep researching and get second opinions if you think you need one! :) The MRI, CT Scan and any other tests a doctor can use to look at your back will help them come up with a pain management plan. :) Good Luck to you!
  • An MRI could change everything about the way you're treated. Your whole PT routine could change because of it so you're doing the right thing about getting that done before your next PT appointment. Welcome to the forum. As you can see there are lots of supportive and caring people around here. Glad you found us.
  • Definatley get that MRI.

    How anyone could even try to treat you without one is crazy.

    You need to get a good idea of what is going on to make sure that you arent doing things that are making your condition(s) worse.

    Good luck, and don't be afraid to fight for what you want. Unfortunatley some doctors would rather take the cheaper/easier route of pain meds vs expensive tests.

    Just do whats best for you. =)
  • Hi again,

    I got my MRI last Tuesday, received results on Friday. Results as stated to me by my doctors nurse: lower most disk ruptured and buldging. Doctor is referring me to a Neuro Surgeon. Not sure what to think of all this. I have been trying to read about all this as much as possible, but I am getting more confused. Is my problem the same thing as Degenerative Disk Disease or just the results of...? Or are they even related? Also, I did go to PT twice and he thinks that my problem is caused from years of poor posture and lifting technique. (I am 39) The way the Physical Therapist explained to me, he made it sound like the excersises that he wanted me to do would "reverse" the damage. Is that even possible?
    Again, any support is appreciated! Thank you.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,060

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

    Welcome To Spine-Health

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact (PM) any one of the Moderators here Priestess , Bruce , Paulgla, DiLauro

    The Spine-Health Web site offers so much more than these Member Forums.
    Check the various tabs at the top of the Spine-Health page and you will find so much that is offered here.

    Please remember that all information you receive from members on this forum is NOT
    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

    To get back to the Forums, you can always click on Forum Home

    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    Please keep in mind, that you as the patient should not be suggesting what diagnostic tests your doctor wants to perform.
    Any doctor worth their weight will know what tests are needed based on their clinical examinations. Because of insurance policies, having some of these tests are not as simple as they were before.
    You just want to make sure that your doctor is looking at different possibilities to identify the root cause of your problem.
    I do have a concern about using a chiropractor when you have potential disc problems. Many of not most chiropractors are not properly trained or skilled in working with discs and the spinal cord. You want to have neurologists / neurosurgeons looking after you.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,060
    You want to make sure that you get details about your MRI report from your doctor and make sure they explain in terms that you understand.
    MRI reports are very difficult to interpret, we always request that no member on Spine-Health even attempt to interpret another members MRI report. There are even differences between the way two doctors can read those reports.

    You do want to know what disc levels are in question. The lower back discs are L1 through L5. Ruptured,Bulging, Herniated basically all mean the same thing. There is such slight differences between those terms. To me, the part you want to understand is IF one of those discs are impinging on a nerve root. When that happens, you will probably have nerve pain along with your other pain.

    Dont be alarmed by the term Degenerative Disc Disease. It sounds worse than it is. First, it is not a disease and if anything it is the natural aging of our spine. Almost everyone will show some signs of DDD by the time they reach 30. Trauma and Surgery can however speed up that process and increase its impact. In all but the severe cases of DDD, surgery is NOT required. A proper set of exercises along with OTC NSAIDS may be all that is required to help you.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I definately want to talk to my regular doc about the results and I will meet with the Neuro Surgeon as well to see what he has to say. I already have a LIST of questions that is growing rapidly. I am not going to be to quick to jump into surgery. I am hesitant about my docs take on this, 2 years ago my oldest son (who lives and breathes football) was complaining of his hip hurting. Well to make a long story short-we saw a differant doc in our medical group-(younger), aggressive to a point, (didn't seem to worried about sucking money out of pockets-which sometime I wonder about our doc) Anyway within a week he had surgery to "pin" his hip because it had "slipped". (Slipped Capitol Femoral Epiphisis) TO THIS DAY I wonder how my doc would have handled this, how much of this and that would we have gone through before coming to the same conclusion and possibly doing more damage.
    I appreciate all "comments" and understand that they don't come from doctors, just people's own experiences. But it was many comments from here that turned the light bulb on for me and made me ask for the MRI. Thank you.
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