Possible Back/disc problems

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hello everyone. I'm new here so please bear with me.

last year in July I was involved in a van crash where I was hit from behind pretty hard! 

I have since suffered badly badly with chronic back pain, right near the base of my spine. I have recieved physio via the third party's insurers. I was on co-dydramol for 9 months, then upped to tramadol, then that was upped to morphine two months ago now. I have recently had an MRI scan and the lady who performed in reckoned she could see two bulged discs, yet my gp who got the results 3 days later said there wasn't any! I don't have any faith in him so am seeing another on Friday and hoping to get a copy of the report..

When the physio presses on the joint. I get a horrendous pain in the joint. Then when she rubs the area, it goes numb and tingly. My legs also feel numb most of the time. 

I'm completely at a loss now and fast losing the will to get out of bed each day. With my GP saying he doesn't think there is much else to be done!

I have discussed it with a friend and he reckons my symptoms are the same as his when he slipped a disc. I find it very painful to sit upright, stand still for a minute or so. The only comfortable position is to lie down. 

Could anyone give me any advice? Please!!!!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi james82082,

    Yes you need to get a copy of the MRI report. GP sounds clueless. Sounds like inflamation is a major problem and I would think the MRI might indicate an injection might help or at least a short trial of oral corticosteroids like a medrol dosepack. The inflammation must be reduced as soon as possible. Inflammation can be deep and chronic. Might help to hear from the radiologist if possible. Could be disc and/or facet syndrome. 

    It might be possible to effect the position of the disc. You can try, but easy, to lay on your tummy. Sometimes extension can help pull the disc back. A therapist might help you with this and it is called Mckenzie approach, but will hurt if it is the facet joint. The other approach is flexion, like pulling your knees into your chest, may help with facet joint problem, hurt or better with disc. Lay with a pillow under your knees to help take some of the muscle pressure away if that helps. I'm sure therapy has done these.

    In any event, hang in there and I hope you feel better soon.

    Dr. Steve

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  • Posted

    Thanks, I was on diazepam and anti inflamatories after the accident, they worked. There is apparently no swelling now visible on the surface. 

    I have an appointment on Friday with the better GP. The first GP also recommended I stay at work even after I told him I remove engines and gearboxes regularly!

    laying on my back with knees slightly raised is the best position. It's impossible for me to lift my legs off the bed when the morphine has worn off due to the pain. 

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  • Posted

    The inflammation can be deep. Sometimes with disc herniations, modic changes can develop and this is a rapidly progressing type of degeneration associated with inflammation in the bone, some of which can become infected with bacteria. Try to take note on the MRI regarding either modic changes, reactive endplate changes or bone signal.

    At this point, if it is just a herniation, then either injections or surgery might be the solution.

    My advice, stay away from engines! Would not lift over 25 pounds.

    All the best!

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  • Posted


    When you experience such trauma, your Doctors need to determine whether you have suffered soft tissue damage or whether the disc/s have burst.

    If it is only soft tissue damage, then I refer you to the posting that I made recently.  If you have suffered disc damage then I have no answers

    The pain that you are feeling will be due to nerve irritation in the lower back and can be caused by either soft tissue damage or a split disc.


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  • Posted

    MRI Report is about as useless as everything else. The only thing on it is Reactive Endplate changes are demonstrated at l3/4 and l4/5. His bright idea is to send me to a pain clinic and give me some gapanthen to take with the morphine!

    Im still suffering problems with pins and needles in my feet and back when the physio presses on the afected area.

    I am also now experiencing pain in the top area of my bum and tail bone region.

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  • Posted

    Reactive Endplate Changes are Modic Changes. If these are Modic 1, it could be a very useful and significant finding, especially in association with some type of herniation. This could be deep inflammation, possibly associated with disc infection. The type may be dependent on the machine used, however, look for a MAST center, someone who is certified or a doctor that is familiar with Dr. Albert's work.
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    • Posted

      Thanks, the report said nothing about modic changes. The report to be honest was incredibly basic. It was digitally signed by the radiographer at 10:31pm so I wonder if he was tired and missed something!
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  • Posted

    Reactive Endplate Changes are Modic Changes. That is exactly what it means. If it was done on a high field scanner, you can't tell the difference between modic type 1 and 2, so most radiologists just note reactive endplate changes. Many radiologist do not think modic changes/reactive endplate changes important, just a part of normal degeneration. The scientific literature does not support this! It is a rapid progressing, pathological form of degeneration which affects the bone marrow, is painful, does not respond to typical therapies and may be associated with disc infection, therfore, it is a sign that an alternative method of treatment is indicated. Reactive endplate changes, also known as modic changes, are not basic. This should send you in the right direction. All the best!
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  • Posted

    Well, the GP still won't do anything except refer me to a pain clinic. I can't believe they don't know what's wrong and have given up on me! I'm 28, supposed to be getting married in two years and starting my life, not giving up and living in pain !

    im having to go back to my GP again next week to get the morphine dose upped. I now have pain in my tail bone area, it also radiates through the top and down the side of my buttocks. I also get a lot more cramp in my legs than I used to. 

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  • Posted


    Ive just read your post and feel I am in a similar situation, I'm 31 and have two children under 4. I was in a car accident in January and have been in pain ever since.

    I have lower back pain and a constant dead leg with pins and needles and find it extremely hard to sit or stand still.

    I have had an x ray and mri which seem to be a little conflicting, the x ray showed an anterior slippage of l4 under l5 and also small bulges in l4/l5. The mri did not mention the anterior slippage but confirmed posterior protutions at l4/l5 and l5/s1 . The first doctor near enough told me its not bad enough for surgery and I coudnt stay on the pain killers long term so to get on with my life!! I returned to see my GP two weeks later who was apalled i was not being treated for the pain.

    I am now on amitriptyline which is helping me sleep but feel I like i'm on another planet.

    I havent been given any other help apart or advice from being told to rest for 24 months and if there is no improvement they will look into further treatment then. Resting should include no lifting bending twisting,exercising but as I mentioned I have two small children, one in nappies and a cot who needs constant lifting.

    I feel a lot of doctors just try to get you out the door as quick as possible, mean while our lives are ruined for the for-seeable future.

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