U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 35-year-old male asked:

I hv back pain. mri shows there is posterocentral annular bulge at l4-l5 and l5-s1 level indenting the the cal sac without compression.is this serious?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 42 years experience
First disc bulges do: Not typically cause pain & found as a normal variant on imaging studies in people without back pain. There are many reasons for back pain with most responding to non op care including: core strengthening, flexibility, cardiovascular training, avoiding tobacco use &staying trim while getting a good night's sleep. Medication options include non steroidal anti inflammatories as well as others.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 31 years experience
No: It is not serious in terms of concern that something catastrophic will happen. What your describing is known as degenerative disc disease and is one of the more common causes of back pain in an adult. There are many nonoperative treatments that can potentially help including physical therapy.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jun 9, 2018


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.