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MRI on lower back shows wear and tear changes. Meaning? Have back pain

I just had an mri done yesterday on my lower back and the assistant of the doctor called and told me that I have wear and tear changes in my L5 S1 and a disc tear in L4. She went on to say to do the Pelvic Thrust exercise and to purchase a lower lumbar roll for my back when sitting. What does this mean? When I lay flat in the MRI I had severe back pain and it was painful to walk or sit, so how is this exercise and roll going to help when I am laying flat in bed?
Asked On : Fri, 5 Apr 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  117
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Wear and tear means age related changes in the spine. It usually results into disc degeneration with facet joint arthritis. Back muscle stretching and exercise helps to improve the back muscle tone and subsequently gives more support to spine. Lumbar roll is to give support to lower back.
If you are in severe pain then I would suggest to try anti inflammatory with muscle relaxants and physiotherapy such as interferrential therapy (IFT) to relieve the pain. Once pain subsied and more tolerable then start the exercise. Thanks.
Answered: Fri, 5 Apr 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. Saurabh Gupta's  Response
Feb 2014
Thanks for writing to us.
You might be suffering from degenerative disc disease & it occurs due to repetitive overload or stress to the disc & it increases the risk of disc herniation & spinal canal stenosis.
For this condition you have to do stretching & strengthening exercises in which you have to stretch tight muscle & strengthen weakened ones which will alleviate stress on facet joint and disc.
Meanwhile for pain control take anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Hope this will helps you
Wishing you good health...
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Answered: Fri, 5 Apr 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Praveen Tayal's  Response
Thanks for writing to us.
The disc tear and a herniated disc needs a mild exercise - back strengthening exercises under the guidance of your physical therapist that too after the acute pain subsides with the help of medicines.
I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you.
Dr. Praveen Tayal
Answered: Sat, 6 Apr 2013
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Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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