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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board. This is probably not the right place to ask about seeing a chiropractor as many of us who have had back issues that required surgery are not usually fans of chiropractic in general. So take that into consideration as you read!

Your report indicates signs of degenerative change at the lower lumbar segments. When reading a spinal MRI, there are specific words that are used by radiologists to describe the severity of a situation....minimal, mild, moderate and severe. These can be used to determine in a very general way, "how bad" a specific issue may be. Always keep in mind that imaging is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle, and findings need to be correlated with what the doctor finds upon physical exam, basic neurological exam, etc.

Facet arthropathy is basically arthritic changes going on in the joint at a specific segment of the spine. As a disc begins to flatten, the body's natural reaction is to do other things in an attempt to stabilize that area of the spine. In this case, the body lays down some new material that tends to enlarge the joint. If the joint becomes too enlarged, it can take up space that is needed by spinal nerves to function properly. Facet arthropathy can be painful. It is often more painful in the morning, and gets better as the day goes on.

At L5-S1 there is bulging of the disc that is pushing into the S1 nerve, but it is not pushing the nerve out of the way. The numbness in the thigh would indicate nerve compression.

Since MRIs do not reveal everything, if I were in your position, and the pain is continuing, I would consult with a spine specialist for an accurate diagnosis and plan of treatment, and to see if you should continue with the treatments from the chiropractor.

Good luck.

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