50% of people at some point in their lives will have mechanical lower back pain
. Any person older than a teenage who has an MRI scan may have bulging discs and disc dehydration
. This can almost be considered a normal finding an an adult MRI of the spine. MRI scan is a very sensitive test and the job of your DR is to try and tie your symptoms to the findings on your scan. The best indication for surgery on your spine is if you have nerve root
or spinal cord compression
. This would give you neurological symptoms in your legs such as shooting pain, numbers and weakness. Most patients with lower back pain only do not require surgery but may respond to weight loss
if their BMI is greater than 25, exercise with core strengthening and anti-inflammatory medication. If you have arthritis
of your facet joints in you spine then local anaesthetic
and steroid injections can be of benefit. These are usually done awake under XR guidance. The pro's are that the injections may improve your pain. The cons are only really that you have to undergo the inconvenience of having the procedure and it may not work or give you only temporary relief.