Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > The MRI of my lower back report says the following:

The MRI of my lower back report says the following:

Patient: The MRI of my lower back report says the following: L5-S1: Focal central disc protrusion, associated 4 mm annular tear. Mild effacement of the S1 traversing nerve root with mild 8 mm central canal stenosis. Mild facet arthrosis with tiny facet joint effusions.My lower back has given me problems off and on for years and now it is mostly ‘on’. It has me very tired and feeling older than my 44 years. 🙂 Can someone give me a basic explanation of what the above means? I am going back to the doctor in a few weeks but would love to know in the meantime what this means and if it could be the cause of lower back pain? Thank you very much!



Symptoms: Lower Back Pain



Doctor: HelloThank you for posting your query on ATD.I have gone through your query and understand your concern. Your MRI is showing disc prolapse of disc between L 5 and S 1 vertebra ( it means disc is coming out of 4 mm tear). It is causing mild pressure of nerve root S 1and causing mild spinal stenosis (narrowing of diameter of spinal canal).There is also arthritic changes in facet joints( joints posteriorly in spine ) There is also joint effusion ( fluid ) in these joints. These can because of backache. Main treatment of it is rest and analgesic. Some of changes ( facet joint arthritis) are also related to age ( degenerative changes). So glucosamine and Mecobalamin is helpful in these changes. Physiotherapy is of help. Hope your query get answered.Wishing you a good health.Take care.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you very much!!!!!

Doctor: Ok .wishing you a good health.


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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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