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Pain and stiffness in the lower back. Lumbar MRI showing Scoliosis, disc desiccation, fatty marrow change. Remedy for pain?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I have pain & stiffness in lower back & also in mid back. My mri of lumbar findings are: thoracolumbar curvature to right compatible w scoliosis. Pronounced disc desiccation L5-s1 w endplate sclerosis & fatty marrow change.there is some edema. L5-s1 there is mild leftsided foraminal narrowing due to asymetric endplate & facet spurring. Impression says Severe degenerative disc disease at L5-s1 including pronounced reactive endplate changes as described. Mild leftsided foraminal narrowing due to asymetric endplate & facet spurring . No other significant findings at other lumbar. There is a thoracolumbar scoliosis. I never was told i had scoliosis before..i cant turn over in bed or sit or stand for long because pain is so bad. What can be done to help me? Is this causing my pain?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The pain you have in your back is most likely due to the degenerative disc problem at L5-S1 level. Scoliosis can cause mild pain in the upper back on standing for long hours.
The main treatment of such pain is bed rest along with pain killers and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help with your symptoms if used in appropriate dosage in combination with a potent analgesic.
You can get the appropriate drugs prescribed from your Orthopedician after examination.
Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
- If the pain is severe, you need bed rest till the pain resolves.
- Get some analgesics prescribed and apply analgesic spray or ointments.
- While resting, keep a pillow under your knees if it doesn't bother you.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises for your hamstrings daily as advised by a Physiotherapist.
- Avoid exercises in times of pain.
- Improvise your posture while sitting.
- Using an LS contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.
Also, maintain a proper posture while working, sitting and standing. Keep your back straight. If you work for long hours on the computer, the following link will tell you the posture to maintain while working:
WWW.WWWW.WW Back strengthening exercises will also help.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain and stiffness in the lower back. Lumbar MRI showing Scoliosis, disc desiccation, fatty marrow change. Remedy for pain? 9 hours later
Thank you for your answer. I have done most already of what you suggested my GP had me in PT before this MRI ..I have taken so many NSAIDS over the past yrs that I had a ulcer from it 2yrs ago..I also have had a blister allergic reaction from Aleve and was told I should never take those types of medicines again. (but i do sometimes i just stay indoors from the sun) I can not continue like this I cant do any activities I enjoy anymore (horses) and never sleep a full night. I don't want to take narcotics forever and they only help very little for a short time (plus side effects) Is there ANYOTHER treatment you think they can do?? I read about a spine injection??Is there a surgery to fix it??? Does my MRI seem bad in that disk? This cant be normal wear and tear I'm a young women still. What about the bone spur?? Does that cause pain? Do I have arthritis? Thank you again for any help.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for writing again.
If you are not getting adequate relief with pain killers and regular physiotherapy then there are other options like epidural steroid injections and surgical treatment. You can discuss these options with a spine surgeon.
Your MRI findings do not seem so bad as to need a surgical treatment. Once the pain is controlled with good muscle relaxants like thiocolchicoside, physiotherapy and epidural injections can provide a long term relief.
The bony spurs are suggestive of ankylosing spondylottic changes. These bony spurs make the spine lose its flexibility which makes the movements painful.

Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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