HomeAnswersSpine Surgeryback painI have radiating lower back pain. Please advise.

Can a diffuse disc bulge at the L3-L4 spinal segment in the MRI report cause severe lower back pain?


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Published At March 30, 2023
Reviewed AtDecember 22, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 34 years old female having low back pain for the past nine years. I underwent various treatments along with regular physiotherapy but no improvement. Presently, I have severe low back pain (middle of the lower back) radiating through the left hip to the leg with a burning and pinching sensation. I am unable to walk and sleep, which also affects my regular activities. My recent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows - a "diffuse disc bulge at L3-L4 causing thecal sac indentation and posterior central disc protrusion at L4-L5 level causing thecal sac compression". What can I do? Kindly give your valuable advice.

Thank you.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I am sorry to hear about your chronic low back pain and recent flare-up. Based on your magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings, it seems that you have a few different disc-related issues in your lower back that may be contributing to your symptoms. It is important to note that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings do not always directly correlate with the severity of symptoms, and many people with similar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings may not experience any pain or disability. Here are a few suggestions for managing your pain and improving your function, in the short term, you may benefit from pain management options such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or nerve pain medications, you may also consider a short course of physiotherapy focused on pain management techniques with a physiotherapist who specializes in spine rehabilitation, they can develop an individualized exercise program aimed at improving your mobility, strength, and flexibility and they can also teach pain management techniques, such as posture correction and body mechanics, certain lifestyle modifications can also help reduce your pain and improve your overall function, these include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, using proper lifting techniques, and engaging in regular low-impact exercises such as swimming or biking, and in some cases, surgery may be recommended to address the disc-related issues in the lower back. This may include procedures such as a laminectomy, discectomy, or spinal fusion. However, surgery is typically considered a last resort after other non-surgical options have been exhausted. Remember that managing chronic pain is often a complex and multifaceted process, and it may take time and patience to find the right combination of treatments that works for you.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq
Dr. Muhammad Zohaib Siddiq


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