About 8 weeks ago I started feeling a tightness in my lower back. I did not think much of it and I continued about my business. When in the gym, I would stretch it by hanging from the monkey bars. After 3 weeks or so of it not getting better I decided to see a back specialist. They had x-rays done, did not see anything wrong with the vertabrae (spacing and alignment was fine). Was told to give it a couple more weeks and call back if it does not get better.
Well, two weeks later, it had not improved and they prescribed PT. A week after that I started PT. During their evaluation, they suspected a disk issue based on the fact that I could not bend forward at all and also the fact that when I sneezed it hurt right in the lower back.
So, I started on a twice a week regiment and I also did the exercises at home or gym twice a day.
I am an active 49 year old male, play sports almost daily in the summer and never had a back issue before.
The symptoms were lower left back pain radiating from right above the left buttocks. Impossible to bend forward and if I did try, then significant tightness of the abdomen would occur right afterwards where it felt like it was hard to breathe.
After a week of PT a friend suggested a licensed massage therapist he said helped his back a lot. So I had a couple of sessions with her. Within two days of each session, the back felt a lot better. But, right after some sports it would worsen again.
At this time I did not suspect a serious back problem yet as there were no neurological symptoms.
After a couple more weeks of PT and this see saw of getting better and then worse after physical activity, I went for an MRI.
The results are: L3-4 Minimal Disk Bulge.
L4-5, Very mild disk bulging.
L5-S1, Small central disk herniation to the left. Mild thecal sac deformity. abuts the crossing left nerve root without significant deformity or displacement.
I am currently on vacation but my doctor wants to meet and discuss after I get back.
What do you guys think? I definitely do not like the prospect of any surgery. I would also like to get back to my active lifestyle. Should I refrain doing any sports right now?
There is nobody on the forum qualified or permitted to interpret or advise on a an MRI this is something you need to discuss with your doctor