Back Pain - L4-L5 Central Disk protrusion

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last monday when i bent over i started getting acute lower back pain. I was not able to move at all for a day and half. I am little bit better now. My MRI findings are below. My doctor said this is common for software engineers who commute a lot and with little exercise. I appreciate if someone can explain me how bad my report is regarding the L4-L5 and L5-S1. What should I do to slow down the disc degeneration. Can it be reversed? Can i play tennis and swimming? I appreciate your time. THanks.


The paraspinous soft tissues are unremarkable. There is normal alignment and vertebral stature in the

lumbar spine. Marrow signal intensity appears normal for patient age.

The conus medullaris is normal in caliber and signal intensity and is positioned at the L1 level.

At T12-L1, there is no evidence of disk disease, spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis.

At L1-L2, there is no evidence of disk disease, spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis.

At L2-L3, there is no evidence of disk disease, spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis.

At L3-L4, there is no evidence of disk disease, spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis.

At L4-L5, disk degeneration is seen with loss of signal. A central disk protrusion indents the thecal sac. The neural

foramen are unremarkable.

At L5-S1, disk degeneration is seen with loss of signal. Endplate osteophytes and annular bulging narrow the inferior

aspects of the neural foramen. There is minimal flattening of the thecal sac.


A central disk protrusion is seen at L4-L5. Degenerative changes narrow the neural foramen at L5-S1.


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  • Posted

    Sitting in front of a computer for years do not help our backs. From your initial symptoms I thought that you had lumbago. I don't know what the interpretation of the report will be.

    Where do you live to have managed to have an MRI in so short a time.

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  • Posted

    In the UK if an NHS patient you would be lucky to be sent for an MRI with your symptoms and then it would be a long wait. To get my one in a hurry it cost me a thousand pounds.

    Hope you enjoyed the Eclipse.  

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  • Posted

    I am by far not much of a reader of these things but I can tell you that a disc that has degeneration and bulging can not be reversed without surgery. But a lot of people can have this and be symptom free for years.

    As for your sports the worse thing you can do is stop. Movement is important to keep your back healthy. And in that spirit you need to get some physical therapy. They will teach you some exercise that will strengthen your back and core. That way you can hopefully stop any further degeneration of your back.

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  • Posted

    Based on your results I would try everything  to look after your back now to prevent surgery, this should only be a last resort if all else fails and your quality of life is being effected, prevention is better than cure.

    see a chiropractor, physio, swimming, strengthening your core muscles, don't over do it just try and stay as active as you can without putting to much pressure on your spine, good luck I wish you well😊

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  • Posted


    I'm new to the forum and hope that I am respecting the guidelines with my answer.

    I don't know how old you are, but I'm in my 40's and my spinal surgeon and spinal orthopedic specialist, disk degeneration can't be reversed and is progressive. As far as your Protrusion, which I recently had two after an injury (L8 - L9, L9 - L10), very painful and my doctors said the disk material cannot be regenerated (after a certain age). I question that declaration. Keep in mind most  traditional Western Medicine, (Allopathic) Dr and providers sometimes don't think outside the box. Sometimes for lack of research and evidence based treatments or just lack of belief in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. C.A.M. Dr.s do believe there are things we can do for the body to slow down disk degeneration.  (worth researching).  

    If I were you I would take precaution with your sport activity or any activities that compress and strain your lower back area after a protrusion. Respect the back. That's what my physical therapist says. 

    Stephen cool

    Keep in mind these are Western medicine perspectives, 

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