Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Lumbar Back Xray Disc Narrowing

Lumbar Back Xray Disc Narrowing

Patient: I recently had the following xray. They noted L4-L5 and L5-S1 narrowing and the impression from the report was degenerative disc disease in those locations. However I have highlighted two areas where the space between the vertebrae appear to narrow. Are the areas highlighted normal in height?



Symptoms: Back Pain



Lumbar Back Xray Disc Narro...-1 Lumbar Back Xray Disc Narro...-1 Lumbar Back Xray Disc Narro...-1

Doctor: HelloThank you for posting your query on ATD.I have gone through your query and understand your concern. Hope your query get answered.In these x Rays, the highlighted area seems to be normal (as it is in the thoracic area where disc spaces are normal less). However if you have pain in the thoracic area then it is better to go for MRI of the region.Wishing you a good health.Take care.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: I have had a thoracic mri but it came back no findings despite being sub opitmal (due to movement). One reason for the xray was to check for vertebrae movement, due to the paraspinals are in constant spam. So the Xray noted lumbar spasms which we already knew, but the film cannot show any small movement of vertebrae correct? Will this be shown with the MRI?

Doctor: Hi
Welcome back
If MRI is Normal then nothing to worry. MRI will show the diseases causing spasm. As your MRI is normal so nothing is needed except symptomatic treatment such as analgesic such as ibuprofen for relief and muscle relaxant for spasm. You can check your vitamin D level as vitamin D deficiency can cause such unexplained pain. MRI shows disease effecting the spine, not the movements.


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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