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LOW BACK PAIN FOR 8 MONTHS! (Includes bulging discs, spinal stenosis, annual tear)

I got an MRI and my report includes the following:

L4-5, there is a mild bulging disc mildly effacing the ventral thecal sac without central canal spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis.

L5-S1, there is a small right-sided disc protrusion and annular tear mildly effacing the right ventral aspect of the thecal sac and mildly impinging upon the very proximal right S1 nerve root and resulting in mild right lateral recess stenosis and mild right-sided neural foraminal stenosis without central canal spinal stenosis.

IMPRESSION:
1. Slight dialation of the central canal of the thoracic cord at the T12 and L1 level may represent slight hydromyelia vs. a small thoracic cord syrinx. MRI of the thoracic spine is recommended.

2. Mild bulging disc at L4-5 without central canal spinal stenosis or neural foraminal stenosis.

3. Small right-sided disc protrusion and annual tear at L5-1 mildly impinging upon the very proximal right S1 nerve root and resulting in mild right lateral recess stenosis and mild right-sided neural foraminal stenosis without central canal spinal stenosis. Correlation for right-sided S1 radiculitis is recommended.


**So basically I have no idea what any of this means. I have had this spinal pain for almost 8 months now. What should I do? Are there any exercises I should do/avoid?
8 Responses
1340994 tn?1374193977
I would say see the neurosurgeon and see what he suggests.  

Do not do any heavy lifting.  Do exercise with lots of walking if it feels okay.  Walking strengthens the critical muscles of the back and protects it.  I would ask the neurosurgeon or physical therapist what exercises are safe and helpful besides walking.  But be good to your back and use good posture.  
1248623 tn?1406808415
What that means is, they recommend an MRI to look at the spine a little higher, to see if there is additional involvement. (doubtful and low significance.)
It also means, the disc between L5 and S1 has a small tear causing some mild nerve root compression. (the most likely source of your pain) And they recommend you have surgery to reduce the compression.
Avatar universal
So how does the tear heal?
1248623 tn?1406808415
The tears don't heel. If there is no need to remove the entire disc, they sometimes just remove the part causing the compression.
I tear to the edge of the disc is not the same as a ruptured disc, and generally not much of an issue. It's the compression of the nerve root, that is the issue. They just need to relieve the compression.
Avatar universal
Are you hinting I should take a gander at surgery? I'm only 17 and I don't want to generate more complications. I go on hour-long walks everyday and do light exercise. My physician advises me to do squats against the wall with an exercise ball to support my back. I also do plie squats, but without the ball. I'm also very careful when I attempt bridges. Exercising arms isn't a problem, I'm just afraid of using too heavy of dumbbells, because of the support my back has to give.
1248623 tn?1406808415
I'm recommending you follow the recommendations of the MRI and see a Neurosurgeon for evaluation on best course of action. Nerve root compressions don't heal themselves and the longer the delay the higher the risk of permanent damage.
Avatar universal
True. I'm already seeing the physician at my mom's work. He works with the professional sports teams of my state. We are doing decompression treatments twice a week. I am using that table where my stomach is strapped down, and it gently pulls the lower half of my body.
1248623 tn?1406808415
Yeah, those treatments are good revenue generators for the people who provide them. They make good money, then you eventually go see a neurosurgeon and get the proper treatment, after they dragged it out as long as they could.
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st. louis, MO
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