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Chronic lower back pain with bulging discs

dj33469dj33469 Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
I was in a car accident in year 2005, and i was diagnosed with some bulging discs in my lower back. I have not been to the doctor in over a year because my health insurance has expired. My back as gotten alot worst since the car accident. It seems like it gets worst as the weeks go on. I am still young (21), and i can not stand the pain. I get a horriable stabbing in my lower back, and also hot needles in my arms, hands, feet, legs. Meds help a little with the lower back pain, but noting can touch the needle pain, and the pain that shoots down my leg. Does anybody know what i can do to help live with this pain? i am getting government insurance probally in the begining of feb. then i can go see a doctor. I dont understand why i experiance so much pain with bulging discs. I always hear from other people that bulging discs are not that bad, and dont hurt. But my bulging discs make me so that i can barely walk alot of times. why is this? does anyone else with bulging discs experiance such extreme pain? this is my MRI report below.



L3-4 disc spaces normal. Posterior annulus bulging with some impingement on the anterior thecal sac. No central canal or neuroforaminal stenosis. No disc herniation. Facet hypertrophy. Central canal narrowing

L4-5 disc narrowing and partial disc dehydration. Posterior disc bulging with impingement on the anterior thecal sac. Facet hypertrophy. Central canal stenosis.

1. Annulus bulging l3-4.
2. Disc bulging l4-5 with hypertrophic central canal stenosis associated.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. There's a lot of great info here and the members of the forum are a bunch of fantastic people. I have some things to say about your situation, but please know that I'm not a doctor or a medical professional, just a fellow spiney who has quite a bit to offer from my personal experience only.,

    It might not be just your bulging discs causing pain, and maybe it's not them at all. There are so many things that can go on with our spines - facet joints, stenosis, nerve impingement, etc. Your MRI says facet hypertrophy which means they're inflamed or swollen. This could be due to arthritis, or a number of other things. Stenosis in itself can be impinging on nerves and that creates pain also. You might be having referred pain from the stenosis and facet hypertrophy and not from the discs at all.

    None of us are doctors, me included, and can't read what your MRI means. But from my own personal experience, I have pain in my lower back, both hips, and shooting pain down the back of both legs to my knees. All these symptoms aren't coming from my discs, but from my arthritic and inflamed facet joints. There are areas in the spine where bunches of nerves go through and if you have stenosis, these openings get narrower pushing on the nerves. I'm about to have surgery to fuse my facet joints, replace a bulging disc (so I don't have future problems with that disc) and open up the area where the nerves run through due to stenosis.

    Do the best you can in January and then get yourself to a fellowship-trained spine specialist. It can be an ortho or neuro, but find a surgeon that only works on spines. And, even though I'm suggesting a surgeon, they will try a lot of conservative methods before surgery if they feel you might benefit from them.

    Take care and I hope that January hurries by for you so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

  • Ooops, bad me. I just noticed the date of your MRI. Not that it really matters much - any spine specialist you see will order a new MRI due to the length of time since your last one.

    Anyway, I think you'd benefit hanging out here at Spine-Health. There are a lot of people that provide plenty of inspiration for us.

  • If you are getting symptoms in your arms, I would recommend getting the doc to take a close look at your neck. A central disc herniation in your neck can cause some weird symptoms throughout the body. Good luck.
  • Thankyou for all your help. I was thinking that i should get new a new mri also. the last time i had the mri i was not having the needle pain my my hands and arms. It was just a numbbness. Mabey something has worsened since then. I have always had big knots in my upper back around the shoulder area.
  • This time i will ask more questions to the doctor about the other problems i had, and not just about the bulging discs. When the doctor mentioned the other problems that i had, i did not think much of it. Thankyou for your responses. Im going to find out more about my other problems. I never even thought those other things really mattered. Thankyou for your input
  • does anybody recomend anything that i can do to help deal with the pain other than excercise and stretching. I do those things on a daily basis, because when the accident first occured i stoped doing those things after my PT was over, then after about 6 months my back had worsened. Then i had to do the Pt all over again. But it was for the best. I learned the excersis the second time around, now i go some equiptment, and i do the PT in my house.
  • I just wanted to recomend getting the updated MRI neck and lumbar asap.

    A disc that is bulging can herniated badly with simply sneezing, coughing or sleeping in bed.

    I hope that you get some relief very soon. Nerve pain is the worst. Hang in there.

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