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Understanding your MRI

        Hello, Spinal - Health world, my name is Jeff/42 and I have delivered your bills for 21 years now.
 About ten years ago I injured my back just doing my regular pack mule job and had a small bout with a locked back, not being able to straighten up followed by some months of PT. I was able to continue my delivery lifestyle in the elements with no real issue for the next eight years until I had another bout with the same symptoms and the same PT, only this time it didn't go away. About five months into my PT with no improvement I was sent in for an MRI and the company doctor pointed out a small herniation in one of my lower disk and told me to give it some time, so I did. At about the 8 month mark the company doctor started getting a little pushy (in a polite way) with the PT and saying I should have improved by now, so I went out to seek a second opinion of my MRI results. The second specialist looked over my MRI and pointed out a bunch of other disk that had herniated and closed off along with spondylosis, arthritic back and a severe case of spinal stenosis. I suffer from daily bouts with sciatica shooting down both legs, one more than the other and can only sit, stand, walk in moderation or as tolerated. After two years of looking for a 'miracle cure,' I've found that moderation in movement is the key to avoiding the bad kind of pain and have become really well acquainted with my bodies forms of communication with me. The second doctor, bless him, was honest with me and allowed me to fully understand why I was feeling this pain and opened the door to my getting educated on these changes to my body. This education allowed me to fully adjust my lifestyle in order to avoid unnecessary sciatic attacks and cut back on the pain killers which had become a normal part of my everyday.

Has anyone else had experience with a half-interested medical professional that holds back telling you what your MRI shows? 


  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 207
    The company doctor is not a MRI expert 
    Not so easy to interpret an MRI
    So in my opinion was not intentionally 

    Lucky you that found the second doctor understanding not only MRI but what to do in order to improve your life without sliding on surgery road

    Those doctors are really gifted.
    Spine related problems are quite complex and not any doctor will show you the best way of dealing with.
    Simmilar is with PT. Some PT are just pushing you toward next surgery while others understand what you need
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,509

    With regard to the spine, I always recommend reviewing the MRI/CT and X-Rays with a spinal specialist - they know what to look for, and generalists are, well generalists.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  •       Well, finally spoke to the spine specialist and yup, I've crossed into the permanent moderate activity zone. If it were just a disk or mild stenosis surgery would be a no brainer, but since its most of my disk out of shape and severe spinal stenosis I need to start learning to listen to my body and do things with moderation. I have to avoid waiting for an actual sciatic event or burning sensation in back before resting and once i do rest i have to allow my body to reset with some stretching. Walking 'as tolerated', sitting 'as tolerated' is my new life but at least i can still do those things and without too much pain if i stay in my 'pain lane.' (Ive learned so many of these in PT.)

           Pretty much the same advice I've gotten from many members on this wonderful forum, moderation is king in preserving an active lifestyle with new spinal reality.

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