Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Disc is Fine

I got some x-rays done and I sent them over the Boeree. He says the disc is fine and the problem could stem from something else. I have a phone consultation set up in a week or two (can't remember the exact date) to see how my progress with the therapist is going.

As far as my progress, I finally got that muscle on my left lower back to shut the hell up. It seems this muscle was tightening my left side of my lower back and would compress the disc on the left side as seen on the xrays below. This is the disc doing its job, it's acting like a normal disc.. but it's obviously stressful for my spine so I definitely had to relax it.

Here's what Boeree said:
As you say, you are leaning off to the left slightly at L4/5.  This is a postural tilt and probably reflects the body adjusting to relieve stress on a focal area of pain.  This can be muscles or ligaments around a motion segment, which may be more comfortable if less stretched (for example if they are on the left side), or a facet joint which may be more comfortable if off loaded (for example on the right side).  Often it’s a combination of these things.  It is not a problem with the disc, which is simply accommodating that posture in the same way as a natural disc will do.  The disc itself still looks fine on your x-rays.

So there is a problem, we just need to figure out what it is. A previous commenter said it might be standing up too much tightening up my gluts..

I think that, in the end, it's just about the restaurant. This place is stressful as hell. I'm looking to sell it as soon as possible. I'll talk to someone about it.

I'll also be going to Honduras to get that CT scan done again in December. I'll ask boeree what other types of test must be done to have this diagnosed appropriately.


  1. Mike,

    How did you get the muscle to calm down? I hope you can get rid of the stress and somehow find a less stressful line of work, and one that's easier on your back.


  2. Looks good Mike! Are you carrying stuff around the restaurant, waiter-style? I know I carried a LOT of stuff on my left arm only and who knows what that could do to one of our backs now.

  3. Stretching. A lot of stretching. It starts acting up once I stop stretching (like right now that I haven't done anything in a few days). I am definitely looking into selling this place asap. Could take a looooong time.. but it's necessary if I want to a normal life ahead of me.

    Brett, sometimes I have to go buy heavy groceries.. but i'm getting new suppliers that are delivering it to me instead.

  4. Hey Mike. I'm only about 9 weeks out so it's kind of a different ballgame than you, but I also find I need to keep up with my stretching twice a day or I really notice it tightening up. Especially my hamstrings and piriformis.

    One time before my surgery I had severely strained a muscle in my back and the chiro said it had contracted and was pulling one of my lumbar segments way out of whack similar to what it sounds you may have going on. Rest, nsaids, and ultrasound worked to relax the muscle. I might also look into Active Release Massage which focuses on breaking up scar tissue and adhesions that can form between the nerves and surrounding tissues which prevent them from moving freely. I have had very good luck with this in the past. It hurt like hell during the treatments, but felt really good afterwards. Be sure to let us know what ends up working for you. Best of luck!