I injured my lower back at the gym doing heavy squats and deadlifts a couple months ago and got an MRI and was diagnosed with a bulging disc at L5-S1 which was causing sciatic nerve pain radiating down my legs. My primary doc recommended PT so I've been seeing one for a couple weeks. Although I've been improving since, today my lower back and leg pain flared up again and I'm not sure why. My PT told me that the muscles on the left side of my back is really tight and swelled up compared to my right side. I've been getting muscle stim and ice treatment during the PT sessions but I can still feel the swelling and tightness on my left side. I am trying to stay positive even though some days I feel as though Im taking a few steps back after moving a few steps forward. At this point, I have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can provide some answers to in order for me to stop the worrying:
1) Based on my current condition and MRI results below, how long should it take for me to recover going to PT sessions twice a week and doing daily stretches provided from my sessions?
2) How long should my leg pain last and what can I do to make my left back muscles side less swollen and tense? If I were to run my hands down the middle of my back, it feels as though my back is crooked from the swollen left side.
Also, if someone can translate my MRI results in layman's term, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks in advance.
L4-5: There is a preserved disc height and hydration with a 1 mm circumferential disc bulge. Mild facet anthropathy with mild fluid in the facet joints.
L5-S1: There is mild disc desiccation and disc space narrowing. There is a broad-based left paracentral disc bulge measuring up to 6 mm. There is impingement with mild posterior displacement of the descending left S1 nerve root within the lateral recess. Mild facet anthropathy. No discrete overall central canal narrowing. Mild central left neural foraminal narrowing.
L5-S1 broad based left paracentral disc bulge which does impinge left lateral recess and descending left S1 nerve root. Mild left neural foraminal narrowing.
Mild facet arthropathy through the lower lumbar levels.