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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Back pain
May 13, 2012
Welcome to the board. I can give you a general idea of your issues as reported by the radiologist. Your doctor will correlate these findings with the results of a physical and basic neurologic exam to arrive at a diagnosis. Sometimes something will sound "bad" on MRI but in reality causes the person no symptoms of pain.

I'm not going to explain all the terminology, but basically most things mentioned are normal with the exception of a disc bulge located between the lumbar 4 and lumbar 5 vertebrae. Dessication indicates that the disc is losing moisture and drying out. This is a natural process that most people experience at one time or another. It is a sign that there is some degeneration beginning in the disc.

The disc bulge is pushing out in such a way that it is pushing into an opening (in your case, on both sides...both left and right) that is called a foramina...which is where the nerves exit the spine and go out into the body. This can result in the nerve becoming pinched or compressed if the bulge is taking up the space that is needed by the nerve to pass freely.

Do you have any pain radiating down into your buttock, hip or leg? If so, it is probably due to this neural foraminal compromise (as it is referred to in this report).

The other thing mentioned that is somewhat problematic is the loss of lordosis. The spine has a natural curve to it. When this curve is flattened out, it can be a source of back pain. In your case, the radiologist is suggesting that yours is caused by muscle spasms. Perhaps you have been compensating for the pain at L4-L5 and it is causing a muscle imbalance which is pulling the lumbar spine out of alignment.

Other than these two issues, everything else appears normal.

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