Q. What causes severe spine and back pain after suffering the flu?

Answered by
Dr. Ruchi Sharma
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 28, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have been having severe spine pain that started after the flu. So I had an MRI done. Unfortunately, my condition is much worse, and now the whole of my spine and back is in a lot of pain. Also got a rash on my back that is itchy. Taking Codeine, but does not do a lot. I am attaching my MRI reports. Can you check for anything that might have been missed on this early scan?

Thank you.



Welcome to

I went through the uploaded MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) images (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity) of the lumbosacral spine and have made the following observations;

1. There is mild loss of lumbar lordosis.

2. Mild disc bulges are noted at L3 to L4 and L4 to L5 levels.

3. The intervertebral discs at L3 to L4 and L4 to L5 levels shows desiccation.

4. The posterior elements appear normal.

5. Spinal cord, conus medullaris, and filum terminale appear normal.

The above findings suggest degenerative changes in the lumbosacral spine. These changes are more evident at the L4 to L5 level. These might be the cause of your back pain. I also see a well-defined, round hyperintense area under the skin surface at the back at the D11 to 12 levels that could likely be an infective focus or a cyst. A clinical correlation of the above findings is suggested.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

D11 to D12 is now where I have the most pain. Could you please explain whether that means an infection? The pain has been getting worse. Why?

Thank you.



Welcome back to

There is an altered MRI signal area under the skin of your back roughly at the level of D11 to 12 vertebrae. This could suggest a subcutaneous infective focus or a cystic lesion. For example, an epidermoid cyst. Further imaging with contrast would help in narrowing down the diagnosis. Clinic examination of the region and blood work can also help. I suggest you consult your doctor and discuss it with them.

Also, what does your MRI report from the laboratory say?

Thank you.

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