Hello. I have had chronic back pain since I was a child. I have seen chiropractors for years and years and always get minimal relief but only temporary. About three years ago I started having issues with my back going out to the point where I had mobility issues. I have always bounced back from them until now. Over mother's day weekend I bent over to get a pen from my car and my back went out. I went to the doctor and they thought I had strained a muscle. They gave me a short course of prednisone to help with the inflammation and hydrocodone to help with the pain. This did help and my mobility improved (I could bend again to sit down and such), but there was residual pain that would not go away and the hydrocodone did not help. On a follow up visit I was given an MRI and referred to a specialist. They also prescribed gabapentin to replace the hydrocodone. The gabapentin is not helping and the pain ranges from moderate to severe and now my left arm and leg have random bouts of numbness. The pain in my lower back is a wild mix. I have a constant burning feeling across my lower back which never stops, I also have bouts of "pressure" pain where it feels like someone is trying to burst out of my back in the same area, and then I get sharp shooting pains that start at my lower back and travel up into my upper back and sometimes in my shoulder blade area. In addition sometimes when walking or bending to sit or stand I get sharp pains followed by a sensation that feels like my back is trying to fold in over itself. I will finally see a specialist on the 19th, but I was wondering if I could get any assistance in understanding what my MRI means and if the injury seems treatable by injections and/or therapy.
Here is the narrative from my MRI:
MRI LUMBAR SPINE WO IV CONTRAST
6/1/2015 3:51 PM
Indication: Lumbar radiculopathy
Comparison: Lumbar x-ray 5/9/14
Findings: No compression fracture or subluxation is seen. Incidental limbus vertebral bodies are seen anterior L3 and L4 which appear stable from 5/9/14. Bone marrow signal intensity is unremarkable. There is disc space dehydration without narrowing at L4-5. Disc space heights and signal intensities are otherwise unremarkable diffusely. The conus extends to the superior L1 level.
L3-4 demonstrate a moderate left lateral disc protrusion with moderate left foraminal narrowing and mild left lateral recess narrowing. There is no central canal stenosis. The right lateral recess and right foramen are patent.
L4-5 demonstrates mild left paracentral disc bulging with no discrete disc protrusion. There is mild left lateral disc bulging as well. There is mild canal stenosis. There is mild left lateral recess and left foraminal narrowing. The right lateral recess and foramina are patent.
L5-S1 demonstrates no disc protrusion or canal stenosis. No lateral recess or foraminal narrowing is seen.
1. L3-4 left lateral disc protrusion with moderate left foraminal narrowing.
2. Mild L4-5 degenerative disc disease with mild canal stenosis and mild left lateral recess and left foraminal narrowing.********************************************************************************************************* Welcome to Spine-Health
It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules
Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
- Medical advice of any kind
- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/17/15 19:50 est