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MRI Shows Large Disc Protrusion - L5-S1

Zola.ZZola. Posts: 2
edited 02/26/2015 - 6:27 AM in Lower Back Pain

I am new here, I have had minor issues with my lower back for around a year. I can walk pain free and go to the gym to do weights, play football etc.

However my flexibility is horrible, I cant touch my toes with straight legs, cant get passed my knees! Also cant lay on my back and raise my leg straight past 45 degrees without back pain.

I eventually got an MRI last week and it shows a large bulge on my L5-S1 area. It will be around 3 months before I get to see a specialist, as there is a long waiting list and I only have public healthcare.

Between now and then, what can I do to try to and improve the situation? I am going to take it very easy in the gym, stop playing football etc. The orthopedic lady on the phone said to be wary of Physiotherapy, and if its not improving within a few visits to stop going until I am seen by a specialist. I got the impression she felt PT wouldn't make much of a difference :/

I was thinking of taking up swimming and find some ways to improve core stability. I now sleep with a small pillow between my knees after reading on here.

What else can I do? Any help is appreciated.



  • As the first thing I would stop bending, lifting and pro-long sitting. And then maintain correct posture and improve core stability as you also indicated. Swimming is one of the most effective thing I guess, in any case if it is difficult to swim, walking in the water and doing some hydrotherapy is also very effective.

    I've had a similar issue and with very less symptoms and I didn't take it serious because my symptoms were very minor. But eventually it got worst as I didn't take enough precautions. So, my word of advice is take it serious and give the first priority to get it healed itself. Back injuries and surgeries are just horrible! Conservative treatments are more effective sooner you start doing them.
  • what i don't understand is how you are supposed to stop bending, twisting, etc? I bought a grabber to reduce bending, but what about when i have to squeeze into my car or out of it? What about in bed when even with a blanket under my knees i feel like im damagin my back through the night?
    how do people do it? lol
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I have only done the pillow between the knees for two nights sleeps. So far its not too bad but I do wake a little easier to turn and reset. Also when lying on back the pillow under the knees doesn't feel right, if anything it feels like that compresses my lower back more than anything. I sleep on my side anyway.
  • ive never understood how the between your legs pillow is supposed to help..i dont think ive been doing it right lol.
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