Degenerate disk

Posted , 5 users are following.


I am a 34 year old male with back problems that started just before I turned 30. At this time I had an MRI that showed signs of a bulge and "greying" in the disk. I was refferred to physio, and as a result told to loose some weight (which I did - 4 stone). Things were ok but never really 100%.

I had been back to my DR a few times and tried things like narproxin and codine, non of which helped really. Things of late have become unbarable, everytime I sneeze I will fall in pain if I'm not holding on to something, lying in bed is horrific and if I try to move I can literally yelp in pain. The pain comes from my lower back and shoots into my groin and into my legs. The passed couple of weeks numbness and shooting pains in my leg, general weakness in my glutes, bending down and not being able to get back down - so went to the Doctors and was reffered to the muscular skelital dept (massive waiting list) and I prescribed AMITRIPTYLINE and startwd them immediatley. At work, a few days later I was chasing someone (i'm a Police officer), and the pain came on in my lower back, and when I got back to my car I felt damp down below - lots of warning signs. The next day my

whole body felt wrecked, so I went back to the Doctor (a few days after). He doubled my dose to 20mg of AMITRIPTYLINE and sent me off for and MRI.

At the hospital A&E they gave me diazepam (wow!!)..

So my MRI results were as follows:

"The l4-l5 and l5-s1 intervertebral disc show minor noncompressive annular bulges indenting the thecal sac anteriorly. No evidence of nerve root compression or foraminal stenosis"


Stable degenerative minor noncompressive annular bulges of l4-l5 and l5-s1 discs. No evidence of nerve root compression or foraminal stenosis."

I might be reading this wrong and taking the a&e doctor wrongly, but I feel like theyre saying there's nothing wrong - man up!!

It just doesnt explain my levels of pain and discomfort?

I left being told to speak with my GP and ask to be reffered to a neuro/spinal surgeon, which I will be doing tomorrow.

I am just really confused and frustraighted?? Meanwhile I'm off work seemingly with no good excuse?

0 likes, 8 replies

Report / Delete

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Have been in a similar situation so feel your pain literally, from my experience not all nerves paths are visible. So dont beat yourself up and wait for the specialist im sure the force doctor can push you forward on the list or possibly ask the Federation if they can organise private appointment? In the mean time have you thought about seeing an Osteopath or Chiropractor?

    In my own personal experience, i had similar results on MRI but they only scanned lower back, the actual issue was my sacroiliac joint, left side, caused by prolonged driving (extensive clutch pedal use) and entering and exiting vehicle large number of times. Any way this caused similar symptoms to you, with disc wear caused by the joint being out of alignment with the sciatic nerve running through the this area

    So what I am saying is ask about this also.. a quick check of your hip bones from the rear will give you an idea if they are level no problems if not worth having this investigating..

    hope this helps?

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted


    i don't often reply just read i have to admit. i needed to reply to you though as its an awful feeling of being in so much pain and it having a huge effect on your quality of life only to feel like a professional is saying theres nothing wrong. i am diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease L3/4/5 & S1. i have had this bow for 6 years and seen lots of professionals along the way. Majority of them look at the scans and say that on paper there could be lots of people out there with this exact same MRI and be in no pain !! How can that be, I just dont get it. It really does annoy the hell out of me to be told that. I have learnt over the years to remember that i am in pain and the intensity is high so there may be others out there not in pain but unfortunately im not one of them and im not going mad & i tell them that too! I know exactly how you feel so just dont listen to that part of what they say.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Ed,

    I really do empathise with what you are going through having had some lower back problems the last 2.5 years myself, and having many MRI scans and it showing a mild disc bulge at L5-S1. Of course it's pleasing to know that there is nothing more serious showing up and I'm so grateful to God for that, but I know how frustrating it is when you're in pain and can't seem to get an explanation or on the road to the right treatment. I found this so hard to cope with physically and mentally, and I really hope and pray for improvement and breakthrough for you soon Ed.

    There is a book called 'Back Pain Decoded' by Robert Shanks which my osteopath recommended to me and it seems to be a good one, lots of advice about different gagets and ideas to try to help that you don't often hear from doctors or physios. I found seeing an ostepath helpful too, if you can find a good one that was something that helped me. Also a treatment called Bowen Therapy I have found almost like a miraculous help and cure for sciatica in the past, I would definitely recommend that too, something worth looking into.

    Hang in there Ed, I believe that God is the great healer and that even if the doctors are not coming up with the answers then He will - I hope, pray and believe that with time you are going to be 100% pain free again. I take amitrypyline too and find it to be helpful, especially in getting a good sleep. Hang in there Ed, I really get a strong sense within me that you are going to be healed and pain free again, thinking about you and let us know how you are getting on over the next while.


    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    thank you all so much for your supportive replies. I have been to see my GP this morning and he has prescribed higher dose of AMITRIPTYLINE some CODINE and also NARPROXIN, so I will see how that goes.

    I will be seeing the force DR/occupational health people when I return.. they should push something as I have a good number if years left in this job.

    I will also have a look for the book, and look into osteopath (my old man uses one- must run in the family).

    Thank you all again, you've honestly given me a boost this morning and I am very very grateful!

    Much love!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I think ur discs bulge right out under pressure. I established cauda equine sydrome. I was left for 6 days in complete compression. the hospital finally done a mir scan and at 1 in the morning I was lifted out of my bed and blue lighted to kings demark hill. I was on the operating table by 5. when I work I was told by my Nero surgeon. that the damage to my nerves was extreme he said I would lose my sensation to wee and poo he was right I have a colostomy and a ileal conduit stoma for my wee. I have had operation I would not of need I had a massive hernia cut up the middle then my bladder went septic that was removed. then I had incisional hernia they were done 4th cut up the middle then I have had to colostomy revision. 2 more cuts up the middle I would of had none of this if the junior doctor had admitted me I had a gp letter he just said I was trying to que jump. I sued the settled out of court 1.2 million but I am writing to my solicitors as none of these operation had not been taken into account I want another 800.000.

    I am disabled as well plus nerve pain and sciatic. I have a bleed which they cant find so I am very anemic to the point it will make me ill. I have had to unrelated operation c5 c6 c7. fusion plate and cages. nov 17 then last November I had another massive decompression. I had rods plates cages that move. he as done the whole low back I had a back trauma surgeon do this. my lower backs be complete done. I still in so much pain as the day gos on my back bend over cant stand up right. I think I know where the bleed is. my colostomy stoma as granulars which bleed I was at the gp friday he said he want to look I took the bag off and it was good he see at first hand. it was pouring. I should have been seen in july on fast track but they have cancelled every time I spoke to the clinic manager I gave her number to the gp they must of agreed a plan as I collected the fast track letter had more blood taken lucky for me the take the blood at the surgery. I take iron pill but the help the blood count but the gp and stoma sister says that not sorting why am I anemic

    I had a good job in the mod I was in security. I was pensioner off I was 51 now at 61 if I had not off been so fit I could have died .

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    that was me keith that was played out I know everything about backs. I am one of the worst cauda equine cases. they have robbed me of 10 years I have had 11 major operation and I will need 1 more. so I think I can answer ur problems . I feel u have unstable discs the bulge right out then when u rest the go back in . mine had been out so long the a joined together.

    the acute pain is different to the nerve pain. you sound a classic with the groin pain and loss of bladder control they are red flag signs for cauda equine that's hores tail in Latin.

    all this pills and physio are a waste of time

    you have a ll the signs dont let them keep telling u. you know ur back pain u get that type of pain when u go into compression. all the got to do is sort those 3 discs out while theres time.

    sorry I went on about me but u could end up with some or of my problems. ur a police officer u need to be fit

    yours keith

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Oh Keith,

      I can only imagine the terrible pain and suffering you have been through with what you describe, I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and just pray for God's healing in your back and with every issue you have been going through.

      Please hang in there Keith, it's so hard to understand when going through the midst of pain and suffering. I find it hard too, and I know my issues have only been slight compared to what you've been through by the sounds of it. I still believe God is the great healer and put faith in Him to help us all through what we are going through.

      Thinking about you and hoping so much for real breakthrough and healing in your life - thanks for posting to encourage us too Keith.


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    if it weren't for god I would not be here

    I have a lady in usa we speak all the time we meet through a word game she been with me when I spent long periods in hospital as I got infection in the lungs and in my back I had a full and spent 2month in hospital it was funny as it was the hospital I sued I at to learn to walk again it took a lot of will power I was going along a fit man 50 years old I look like a 30 year old even now I do look 61. a y way we have add all the time I been in hospital it's over 3 years. last 5year in guys or st thomas . they have never said sorry I had money anyway . it's been so hard I have cried alot my wife is disabled. she as never understood.

    we barely talk. I have a lady I used to go out with her sister 45 years ago.

    she gos to church alot we speak alot.

    I am anemic I have got to see next week if I am going to have a transfusions.

    I go to all my appointment if they are up london I get transport. my wife as a phobia for years she was made disabled she was having a long op and died on the table they got her back but she had a stroke 30 years old

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up