Q. What is the exact problem with my mother's back pain?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay Kumar Saxena
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 15, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

My mother, who is 60 years old, was having back pain for approximately 5 to 6 years. Now, she is having severe back pain while standing and the pain is not receding. We went for an MRI scan and I have attached the report with this query. I want to know the exact problem and the possible treatment for this condition. Thank you in advance.



Welcome to

Thanks for your query. You have mentioned pain in your mother's back region since 5 to 6 years for which she has been managed conservatively till now. I have also gone through the MRI reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity), which have been attached by you.

  • The MRI shows degenerative age-related changes at L3-L5 region of your mother's lower back with instability at L4-L5 level.
  • This means that there is pressure on the spinal cord and hence, nerves along with some amounts of bony instability are contributing to her pain.
  • For me to actually answer your issues in detail, I would like to know a few details from you.
  • What is the intensity of pain on a scale of 1-10? Is there any associated radiating pain in the legs, any numbness, weakness or paresthesias (altered sensations), etc?
  • How much distance can she walk on a daily basis and what are her analgesic requirements?
  • Also, I would like to understand whether there are any associated motor or sensory issues that needs a detailed neurological examination and can be done either by a trained spinal surgeon or even a physical therapist.
  • Also, MRI images and one x-ray of LS (lumbosacral) spine anteroposterior and lateral (flexion and extension) views are required. Once I have all the details, I should be able to tell you how we need to proceed with her case.

The Probable causes:

Spinal degeneration.

Investigations to be done:

MRI LS spine images, x-ray LS spine - AP and lateral views.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back with the investigation reports to an orthopaedician and traumatologist online.--->

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