Lumbar MRI Report

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

Lumbar MRI Report

Postby Rupert » Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:21 am

I originall had back pain along with pain radiating down the leg about 6 weeks ago. I am 34 and I wanted to get it right in terms of what is going on last week I had an MRI done. The MRI report reads:

"Mild low signal disc dessication is seen at L5-S1. Disc height has been maintained. At this level, there is braod-based right sided disc herniation indenting the anterior thecal sac and mildly displacing the right S1 nerve root. The prevertebral soft tissues and paraspinal musculature appear normal.
IMPRESSION: Broad-based right-sided disc herniation, L5-S1, as above."


I am having not pain right now and am moving about comfortably doing physical therapy. But occasionally i get numbness in the left foot left most three fingers. And get soreness/tight in the left buttock.I am doing PT recommended exercise regimen that is similar to what Dean's book recommends. I am being very conservative in using my lumbar spine now. Is there a realistic chance that the broad-based disc herniation will heal by itself? and what can I do to help that healing? Right now I am discontinued all sporting activity and do not sit on a chair until absolutely necesary. I do not lift any thing heavy and just walk, lay down a lot and deep breathe a lot.

Really grateful to Dean for putting up this forum.
Please advise and share your experience if you anybody knows about it or has experience with this.

Thanks,
Rupert
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
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Postby randolph » Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:15 am

Hello Rupert

My MRI results are very similar to yours.

Sounds like you've got the right idea, being very conservative with your rebuilding efforts ... but also doing all that you can, without pain.

I'd also be very encouraged that you are still young so you may very well heal faster than we middle-aged sciatica sufferers, like Ken, Jeannette, and me ... and we've all experienced success with PT.

I wish I knew what exactly is happening with the disc herniation while the pain lessens in response to the exercises. If MRIs weren't so expensive, it would be interesting to see "before and after" MRIs. But somehow, the body, with PT treatment, does something to reduce the pain without surgical intervention most of the time. Dr. McGill presents some clinical evidence (still controversial) that the sciatic nerve does become resistant to irritation in response to disc herniations (thus his recommendation to include his "flossing" exercise as part of one's PT program). If anyone knows exactly what healing is occuring to reduce the sciatica nerve irritation, I'd like to hear about it.

Good luck, Randolph
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Thanks for the encouragement

Postby Rupert » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:36 am

Randolph,
thanks for your encouragement and taking time to reply.
One thing i noticed in my case is that the right hamstring stretch causes increase in nerve root symptoms. I am planning to do that less and modify it, maybe try it in a standing fashion. Another thing that i have noticed is that I do PT exercises twice a day and after walking around for an hour or so i feel my lower back and especially the buttocks just get tired and tell me to stop walking around.
Whatever is going on it definitely derailed the normal life for a couple of weeks,spent no time dreaming about the future just concerned about this. But with determination and right attitude I hope we would be able to beat this. Human spirit can triumph over all obstacles mental and physical. The potential of mankind is just unlimited where as my back problem is only limited to the lumbar spine.

Cheers!
Rupert
Bucks County, PA
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Postby randolph » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:35 pm

Hello again, Rupert

Stretching the hamstring is still the worst for me ... even after 9 months. That, and bending forward ... while everything else stretches out fine. I'm assuming that eventually, they will stretch out better as I keep stretching them even the little they do.

Most of the time, my sciatica symptoms don't include any pain in the lower back. In fact, if my back does start to ache at the end of the day, I know I've pushed myself too hard. Don't know if your back pain has a similar message for you, but just a caution in case it is.

It seems important to minimize doing anything that irritates the nerve. So I think you're on the right track searching for a hammy stretch that minimizes nerve irritation. (I'd be interested to know if you find a good hammy stretch - I've found nothing very good so far) Healing seems improved the less I do to cause it to flare up. Dr. McGill says "no pain, no gain" isn't true for us recovering from sciatica.

Sounds like you really are on the right track with your positive attitude and willingness to experiment with the various exercises to find what works best for you :D

Randolph
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Looks like our cases are similar

Postby Rupert » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:02 am

Hello Randolph,

>Most of the time, my sciatica symptoms don't include any pain in the >lower back. In fact, if my back does start to ache at the end of the day, >I know I've pushed myself too hard. Don't know if your back pain has a >similar message for you, but just a caution in case it is.

Yes my back sends me the same message if i have used it a long time say exercised twice, and walked a lot.And I do lay down then the posture least that brings least pressure on the lumbar spine. Right now I am trying to stay away from the Back brace want to strengthen my back instead. I am going to wait for quite some time before i try the hamstring stretch on my right leg(in fact either to maintain balance). For us able to do the hamstring stretch is the sign of healing.
Thanks Randolph for sharing your experience with everybody.

Cheers!,
Rupert, PA
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Time will heal all.....

Postby krd » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:22 am

Hey Rupert

I, like Randolf, have virtually no lower back pain, which is common with sciatica. However, walking has been difficult for me this time around. I am in very little pain right now which is a "god sent", but when I walk too much, my lower back gets sore and my left leg gets sore. I am able to walk more upright every passing week and I know that I am on the mend.

Don't count out the benefit of a good back brace. When you start to feel better, google Twinflex, and see what you think. It is very comfortable, and stabilizes the back but lets the muscles work and the spine move. I love it and it has helped me alot this time around.

Exercising is difficult in the beginning, so take it very easy. I find that the best hamstring stretch for me is to sit as close as I can get my butt up against the wall, with my back and head touching the wall. Then I extend one leg at a time, placing both legs straight out in front of me. In the beginning, my butt was probably about 9 inches from the wall, now it is only a couple of inches from the wall. It provides a good stretch and you control your comfort level. I normally hold it for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Good luck, and know that this will pass. It is hard to get through sometimes, we all know. Be posting.

Ken
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Re: Time will heal all.....

Postby SeafordMdf » Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:27 am

krd wrote:I find that the best hamstring stretch for me is to sit as close as I can get my butt up against the wall, with my back and head touching the wall. Then I extend one leg at a time, placing both legs straight out in front of me. In the beginning, my butt was probably about 9 inches from the wall, now it is only a couple of inches from the wall.


Ken ,

That is a good stretch , Just tried it myself :D

Is the aim to get the leg to 90 Degrees in relation to the body , or just to your comfort level ( In my case about 75 degrees ) ?

Cheers ,

Mark
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Hamstring

Postby krd » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:42 am

Hey SeafordMdf

The goal is always to get the leg to 90 degrees. That is why initially my butt was 9 inches from the wall. As the muscle loosens, you will be able to move your butt closer to the wall. The hamstring is not really being stretched if the leg is bent. Good luck. Be posting.

Ken
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Postby SeafordMdf » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:47 am

Thanks Ken ,

That is a very good and easy to do Exercise .

I'm at about 75 Degrees now , So I'll work on it for the 90 Degrees :D

Thanks for your Info and advice 8)

Cheers ,

Mark
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alternative hammy stretch

Postby Rupert » Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:25 am

Thanks for the exercise Ken. I would try it but I want to give my right hip good rest before i try anything. I am thinking 2 weeks rest for the right hip and then try your exercise.

Thanks,
Rupinder
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