Hi, Recently (3 weeks ago) I had intermittent pain in my left buttock shooting from left leg. Below are the findings in the MRI of my lumbar spine (that shows 3 Disc bulges. My Doctor told me that "conservative" methods need to be done first and has put me on Prednisone starting 4daysX60mg, 4daysX40mg, 4daysX20mg, 4daysX10mg. I have also had 3 sessions of manual traction and ultrasound treatment with my Chiro. I rested last week, will be off work for next 2 weeks. I walk 20-30 min daily and going through my normal chores with no pain, tingling or numbness(Initially had numbness for few days that went away). But I have weakness in my thighs and buttock. I have not done much ice packs (1-2 times a day) in the last few days. I am 43, 5'5" tall and weigh 115lb.
1)Looking at my MRI findings, is there a possibility of any long term, permanent damage to any nerves, specially at L4, L5 due to disc protrusions or due to moderate compromise to left/right foraminals?
2) Does Prednisone help in reducing inflammation around discs and thereby preventing permanent damage to the nerves from getting compressed? I have heard Prednisone has lots of side effects.
3)I was wondering if I should start PT soon. Will PT exercises help in strengthening of muscles in the back of thighs and rest of muscles in the area including groin?
4) What other precautions in terms of do's and don'ts can I follow, specially postures during the day and sleep, and nutrition
======MRI Impressions of Lumbar Spine==========
1) L3-4 level shows a 3 mm circumferential disk bulge that has the configuration of
a disk protrusion in the left foramen. There is moderate left foraminal
compromise with mild flattening of the exiting left nerve root. Mild right foraminal
compromise is present. There is mild facet hypertrophy.
2) L4-5 level shows a 2 mm circumferential disk bulge with a superimposed broad
based left foraminal disk protrusion that measures 3-4 mm in the AP dimension.
There is moderate left and mild right foraminal compromise. There is mild
flattening of the exiting left L4 nerve root. Mild facet hypertrophy is present.
3)L5-S 1 level shows a 2 mm posterior annular bulge. Mild facet hypertrophy is
identified. Mild foraminal narrowing is noted.