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Back Pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi I am new to this site and found it when trying to find out more info on my conditions. I have had 2 MRI's done one for lower back and one for neck. I am having severe pain in my lower back and have trouble some days with my legs not working right. After the lower back MRI i went to my doc and he says that there is nothing significant on the MRI and that maybe I should look into therapy. WTF I decided to go get the written copy of MRI and this is what it says

L3-L4: There is facet hypertrophy and a minimal diffuse disc bulge.

L4-L5: Again facet hypertrophy is present with a minimal diffuse disc bulge and annular tear.

L5-S1: Facet hypertrophy is seen with a central and right paracentral disc protrusion with minimal contact of the right S1 nerve root.

I don't really understand what that all means yet but it sounds like something to me.

Also after reading some of the posts on here I am a little freaked out because I also have problems with bladder and bowel control sometimes. It is not all the time just sometimes. I had attributed the bladder to having had 6 children but now I am not so sure.

I also just got back from having an EMG done on my left arm since I have lost feeling in my left pinky and ring fingers. (by the way this is a VERY painful procedure)

I am only 36 and have had no significant accident or injury to explain these things.

Thanks for any advice you can give.


  • might want you to get physical therapy not psychiatric therapy...if he said to seek psychiatric therapy you better ditch him for a more cooperative dr.
    you definitely have some degenerative spine issues. the annular tear in itself could be causing your symptoms. there is a toxic fluid inside disk which can cause severe pain or muscle problems when in contact with any nerves.
    by the way welcome to our group of people with back pain. theres tons of articles to read. i've been a member for three months and have made a lot of friends.
    hope to talk with you soon.....best to you....pete
  • I must say I haven't had that many surgeries. I just had my 3rd L4-L5 laminectomiy, discectomy but have never had this happen. As I said I just had this done on the 14th of this month. My foot was numb prior to this and was fine at first, well my toes went numb again today and I'm getting the wonderful Siatic pain shooting down to my ankle. Have you ever experienced ghost pain? I'm hoping it's just residual but, I've never had that happen before. Any answers may help. Thanks
  • Hi Linns,

    First welcome to this site. Happy to have you here! What type of doctor did you see? Did you have flexion/extension x-rays of your back? Sometimes bulging discs can mean a slippage of one vertebrae over another. My regular doctor said my MRI was normal, but my neurosurgeon had those x-rays done and confirmed I did indeed have a problem.

    We only share experiences on SH, medical advice and reading of MRI's are left up to the medical professionals.

    Best wishes to you,

  • Ask your doctor but the symptoms you gave were vague and nonspecific (legs not working right-not helpful for any diagnosis which should be made by your own doc and medical care team). Now, if you said you had weakness doing right heel raises and pain and or numbness (sciatica) going from your butt down the outer leg calf, and foot on the right, the disc contacting the right S1 nerve root could be an issue.

    Also, pain is relative. I have had MANY upper and lower extremety EMG's but do not consider the procedure particularly painful-not fun and a little unpleasant, but doesn't make the radar for real pain in my and only my experience.
    Sorry, I had to comment because I know there are many folks who have serious pain issues on this site, and I can't take people as seriosly when they complain about needle sticks,injections, EMG, etc. (just tells me you have a LOW pain threshold not that your pain is not real).
  • Look at the simple remedies first.
    My understanding is that spines all deteriorate as we age and do various activities, so you need to consider what is 'normal' for your age and condition. You may be the same as everyone else.

    A recent article in the news said that in a controlled test, yoga gave the best relief for back pain.
    It said that something as simple as twice weekly yoga appears to relieve pain and improve moods in people with the condition.
    It was a 3 year study, using either yoga or standard medical care.
    Those on yoga had significantly more improvements in pain and functionality compared with subjects in the other group.
    Also consider getting remedial massage on those tired, sore and weak back muscles that are crying out for attention.
  • as lay people here as good as this site is we are not allowed to interpret MRI scans just in case we get if wrong.but as i have facet joint hypertrophy myself i can comment on that ..its the little bony projections on your spine {that gives your spine the ability to move in a twisting manor } when you have facet joint hypertrophy these bones become enlarged and extremely pain full .as far as i know there is nothing that can be done about this {i may be wrong} but i have not been offered anything}i am 43 and i am having bladder problems and yes the nerve test do hurt! .i have found that using a high powered TENS and tasking Oxycontin and resting helps with pain.but at the moment my pain has gone up and up and i am being investigated for other problems .facet joint hypertrophy is very painful and will restrict your life activities .have you seen your doctor?
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. just because pain does not show up on your MRI does not mean it is not there! :? pain can show up in other tests, such as your EMG, so please be patient.. :? there may be more tests and more discomfort to come. i hope not though.. :T good luck as you search for pain relief! :D i hope you are feeling better soon. :D Hugsss, >:D< >:D< Jenny :)
  • Thanks.
    No I have not had those x-rays done. Just the original that was ordered by my GP and the 2 MRI's and EMG ordered by my neuro. I understand people on here aren't doc's I was just looking for peoples personal advice based on their experiences.
  • Well I am on state insurance and this is the second neuro I have been to. The first one prescribed a blood pressure med and didn't even take my BP in his office. I am just feeling frustrated that now the second one is telling me this is all in my head when the MRI reports say different. I will have to see if there is another neuro in my area that I can go see. I am just scared that this will all be unfixable by the time I find a neuro that will do something about it.

    Thanks Pete
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