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MRI results - mild wear and tear - what else could it be??

rowanberryrrowanberry Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have just had my MRI results which say only mild wear and tear. My GP said I have a great spine for a 43 year old!! So I know this is good news - however it doesn't explain the pain I am in.

My movements are restricted - I can't pick anything up from the floor. (which is a nightmare with two sons to run around after!!) I have sciatica in both legs and always some sort of lower back/leg/foot pain. This has been going on for 6 months now.

Does anyone know what doesn't show up on an MRI? I've not had an X ray or any other tests.

Pain level is 2/3 all the time which is better than December when it reached 5/6. Some days it's bad and it never ever goes away.

Had anyone had similar experiences? With an MRI showing nothing but still in pain??

My GP said it could be ligaments and they could be pressing on the sciatic nerve - but nothing significant showed up on the MRI - he thinks it will eventually go away.

I am learning to deal with the pain, having positive days more and more - but I just wish I had answers.

I think I will be in pain forever - My nana is 92 years old and she can do more than me!!!

thanks in advance for any replies and advice :)



  • I feel your "pain".. (nice "pun" huh?)

    I am 42.... Has had this back pain for months now... My MRI said that my spine is better then most 40 year olds...

    So, Ok.... Why am I in pain?

    I have been to Ortho, Neuro, and a Spine specialist.
    Has seen Chiro, gone to PT, has a TENS unit (which does relieve the pain somewhat - temporarily).
    I have had one MRI (scheduled for another) and have had one coxxyx injection (did not help).

    I am scheduled for a SI joint injection to see if it is that... I'm starting to get concerned about that..

    I just had some bloodwork to see if it is a rheum disorder (like Rheum arthritis or ankylosis spondylitis).

    I am spending TOOOOO much money on something that NOONE has an answer to and is affecting my everyday life!!!

    I continue to work and try not to think about it, but it is HARD!!!

    I hope an answer is found for you soon
  • Hi - I have read some of your posts and we seem to be in a very similar situation.

    It's very frustrating. I have decided to give it another month and then will go back to my GP - by then it will be 7 months - and I will ask for different tests.

    I've had a better day today - and over the weeks it does seem to be improving - but as I said there is still pain ALL the time. Even now lying in bed typing I can feel it in my leg.

    Keep me updated on your progress

  • I had the same experience as you did for 2 solid years in 2006-2008. I finally went to a Spine Clinic in Mpls and they did a discogram which showed tears in my discs. Nothing showed up on Mri or Ct or Myelogram. Thought I was going nuts. Ortho I found was wonderful and said not all tears show up on MRI, and he was right. That is somthing you might want to check. It was what was wrong with me. PM me for info
  • Hi all just got back from the docs, (again) she said I prob have wear and tear on my lower back and muscle spasms going down my groin and leg, I had a X-ray about 6 weeks ago and it came back fine, I have been in so much pain with pins and needles and a burning sensation lower back groin and leg. Going the loo about 20+ times a day for a pee iam on Dihydrocodeine paracetamol sertraline Senna atrovastatin laratadine. Now she has given me pregbalin. Think that's what there called.has anyone had good results from pregbalin. Thankyou all x
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,797
    iowarobin said exactly what I was going to , annular tears may not show up on MRI. It can be so many other things also , keep searching.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • Yep, annular tears are quite often the answer. I had a fusion in 2012, and no one could figure out why I was still in so much pain. After 2 YEARS of mri's, drugs, shots, etc., My last mri showed the star in the level above the fusion. And funny thing was, it had been there all along, but the other radiologist didn't find it. My Dr then injected that level, and I got immediate relief.

    There is an exceptional series of articles on annular tears by Michael C. Brown, called "The great masquerader".

    Alas I a possibility is facet joints. But they usually show up on mri.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,797
    horselady21, ESI was lifesaver for my tear
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • I have been suffering from sciatica in my left leg for two years now, the pain got so bad, my gp put me on morphine and co codamol, which helped a bit, then he suggested I go to a chiropractor who said I had spasms in my lower back, so had acupuncture for 5 weeks, didn't do a thing and was a complete waste of time and my money, so went back to my gp who said I needed to be referred to a back specialist for an MRI so after waiting several weeks and still in a lot of pain, I saw a back consultant who sent me for a caudal epidural and then an MRI, the epidural was very painful, But it did ease the sciatica a lot. The MRI has shown I have wear and tear which is probably pinching nerves and causing the sciatica I still have to take painkillers as the epidural is wearing off. Have been given an apt to see back consultant in a few months time. This has been sheer hell for me to be in so much pain for so long. I have worked through it and am hoping they can sort it out once and for all. Its not something that will go overnight but I have found that resting my leg when the pain is too much is the best thing for it. Good luck if you are suffering the same, just be patient no miracle cure Im afraid...
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
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