Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

MRI results L4 L5/L5 S1 disc abutting nerve constipated

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 24 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 1, 2008
  • 01:47 AM

John 36 yr. old male 147 lbs. 6 foot with back pain for three years.
I was sitting in a chair typing on the computer and I sneezed, went forward a little and had sudden severe pain in my lower back. Started to become bloated and constipated about two months after the pain started. Finally after a year and a half, the doctor(free clinic no insurance, can't work)sent me for an MRI and found three bulging discs. I received three epideral injections my back felt better for a while, but stayed constipated and bloated all the time.This was in 2005. Since then I've felt a little better the only way I can go to the bathroom is with stool softners and suppositories together. It appears that when I lift something and hurt my back a little the constipation gets worse. The other day I coughed and felt a pop in my lower back. Again instant severe pain. My doctor refuses to believe that my constipation has anything to do with my back problem. They sent me for a sigmoidoscopy. Everything was normal. Treated me for IBS didn't work. Anal sphincter is very tight doctor doesn't know why. Now they are trying to send me to a surgeon to possibly cut part of the muscle. Here are the results from my most recent MRI. They are comparing it to the original one when I first had my injury.

alignment is within normal limits

L1-L2 Minimal disc bulge with slight flattening of the ventral thecal sac, overall, not significantly changed when campared to previous study.

L4-L5 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based right parasagittal focal disc protrusion appearing slightly less prominent than on the prevous study. Disc bulge appears to abut the descending L5 nerve roots similar to the prior study. There is moderate right inferior foraminal stenoses and midl to moderate inferior left foraminal stenosis. Overall, there is at least mild central spinal canal stenosis.

L5-S1 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based posterior focal disc protrusion slightly less prominent on the previous study. There is an indentation of the ventral thecal sac with protruded disc abutting the descending right S1 nerve root. There may be a small posterior annular tear. Overall, there is probably midl central spinal canal stenosis and minimal inferior foraminal narrowing.

Impression Notable findings at L5-S1 and L4-L5 level, however the overall appearance of disc protrusions at these levels seem slightly less prominent than on the previous study.

Does anyone have any ideas? I would appreciate any suggestions.

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24 Replies:

  • make sure you get a second opinion before any surgery, even though you are low income...have you tried a glass on prune juice daily instead of the other stuff?
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies Flag this Response
  • tried prune juice and didnt work
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • drink a warm water first thing in the morning
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Tried going to a chiropractor? I'm in my 5th year of a chiropractic degree and have seen treatment has helped some patients.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 18, 2008
    • 04:56 PM
    • 0
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  • did you try letting your mri physician know that concerns are now arond anal area or constipation. often well, w/ me i found the importance in diagnosing physician no i dont have the same symptoms ,i have multi-level disc bulges-S1 all the way up to L5. all of my lumbar is bulged.the diagnosing phys. states there are no nerve impingements,though i have pain in knees hips and thighs.Sometimes man i just wonder....researching some at the book store has helped me find critical info.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2008
    • 03:33 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi there I too have similar back problems and also suffer with constipation. My Doctor has said it's connected to the back problem. My back problems became so bad I could not support my body. For the constipation I add flax seed to my cereals such as oat clusters with berries, nuts and other seeds. I mix this with soya bio yoghurt and have this every morning. I ceratinly works for me but will take a little time to become regular. I also do some very gentle yoga which has helped to build up the muscles to support the back. I had a chronic problem with my back and constipation before but this has now improved greatly with this regime. Hope this helps
    andreafm 1 Replies
    • September 8, 2008
    • 04:26 PM
    • 0
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  • Its interesting that your bowel constipation did'nt appear to start until a- bout a month or two after your back problem. If you were taking pain relief this could be and probably is responsible for your severe contipation. I have had back problems for many years and i've never ever had experience of constipation without it being brought on by the medication for pain. although i have some considerable chronic pain i now do not take medication for relief as that sort of regime confounds the problem. i just live with the pain of sciatica now as i have become institutionalised with it but its better than adding constipation to the whole scene. good luck with your future. Barto
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 17, 2008
    • 11:38 PM
    • 0
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  • I would wonder if you were medicating the pain. opiates control your body temperature and bowel movements, part of the ***l in withdrawal. you need to add some sort of strong constipation pills to your regiment.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 22, 2008
    • 05:34 AM
    • 0
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  • For about 7 years now I have had trouble with my lower back and buttocks area after eating excessive amounts of dairy. I went to a gastrologist last year who said that dairy wouldn't cause this problem and ordered a CT scan. The scan found that I had disc extrusion at L5-S1 region. The doctor sent me to a pain management doctor who also assured me that the two problems were unrelated. Yesterday I had cheese on my salad, mashed potatoes (milk) and two pieces of fudge (milk) Today my back is starting to have spasms. After 7 years of this I have to believe that the two are related some how. I wonder if when I eat the dairy it is causing my bowles to expand putting pressure on the disc and thus the disc putting pressure on the nerve. The doctors look at me like I'm crazy when I suggest this. For years, I avoided dairy, but since they assured me that they are unrelated I haven't worried about it too much. I use lactaid when I eat dairy simply because it does upset my stomach but I believe that it has kept the back problems under control as well. Yesterday I didn't take the lactaid and now am having back trouble. Does anyone out there have this same problem??
    maggie123 1 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 00:31 PM
    • 0
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  • Back pain itself can cause reflex constipation.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • February 1, 2009
    • 01:18 PM
    • 0
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  • I was just diagnosed with L5- S1 disc change.. I went to my dr. believing that I had problems with my bowels because of constipation and the strain itself is the worst. My dr told me that "sciatic nerve" can cause the muscles that help you "go" to the bathroom can weaken when there is a back problem and can make it harder to go to the rr. I originally went in complaining about the inability to go to the rr and he sent me to a gastro dr who then stuck me on some powder to help with the constipation and told me to add more fiber which I have done way before this.. HOWEVER.. it didn't help with the pain shooting down the leg, back, thigh to my feet.. no relief and still constipated.. then the dr suggested a colonoscopy... that's when I said it can't be related to my colon and I went back to my gp on a hunch.. sure enough he believed it was a pinched nerve.. and here we are.At the office we had a health fair and I got a GREAT diagram of your back and when a certain area is "hurt or pinched" it will give you the breakdown of what it can affect. Its a PDF called Spinal Nerve Function.. this has been a helpful diagram. See if you can find it on line..GOOD LUCK to all of you who suffer from this horrible ache and discomfort, I know that I am tired of feeling this way and want relief not pills/medication to mask the pain.. This may never happen and I hope to definitely stay away from surgery of any kind!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • you probably have a hernia, very commonly associated with protruding discs.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 1, 2009
    • 11:08 AM
    • 0
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  • quite interesting Ive been experiencing the same type symptoms and disc problems, constipation problems, nerve pinching it appears from the MRI recently received, been seeing a chiropractor a couple weeks on to six office manipulations so far for my left arm and fingers tingling and pain not a sign of relief im scheduled to see pain center neurosurgeon we know what they like to do. I could have posted my MRI results but I / we should see this common thread and try determining a common cause. EX: do you drink alcohol? any other toxins are any nerves in your spine literally being restricted and will relieving those nerves if possible give any relief to any symptoms related or otherwise?????? constipation came on first... medication absolutely causes constipation narcotics who wants to mask the problems. One thing that is pretty clear in this forum we need to constantly follow up with all different types of alternatives and probe our doctors minds to determine other causes not just let the doctor give us the textbook answer im sad there will be no immediate answers from this log id love to brainstorm please respond to my log if youd like to brainstorm almost forgot I also have a gastorologist and had the colon procedure only once however did not take one of the proscribed over the counter gas relieving pills which could be a major issue????? diary products definitely cause lots and lots of gas and if restricted would in turn cause abdominal pain. Me too Im sick of this on and on but we together could get to the bottom of the root cause and determine if related age may have some factor TIME takes it toll especially if youve been abusing our bodies CANT WAIT TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS GREAT OUTLET
    M a t h e w 1 Replies
    • December 23, 2009
    • 07:16 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I was blown up a few times in Iraq. I have had an L4 L5 Lamenectomy with hard ware and fusion and can relate to the whole constipation complaint. My docs (VA) they dont listen either. With each flare up I have the most difficult time having a movement. The bloating sets in shortly after I have torked or popped out of place (lumbar) and it is not a good time at all. It can take any where form 3-4 days to a week, depending on how long it takes the spasms to let go and things to pop back into place, before I can get back to normal. I would avoid surgery at all costs! Make sure it is the VERY LAST thing you do. Mine helped and was great for a few years but now I am running into other issues. If I had it to do all over again... I would have done everything else possible before going under the knife.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 15, 2010
    • 07:24 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Miralax - or (polyethelene glycol- you can buy it at the drugstore) Use it w/in 1 hour of eating. It just puts extra water in your gut. My gastroenterologist has had me on this for years. (I only have 6% motility and I am fine with this) It is better to use this than to add extra pressure to your spine with constipation.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • John 36 yr. old male 147 lbs. 6 foot with back pain for three years. I was sitting in a chair typing on the computer and I sneezed, went forward a little and had sudden severe pain in my lower back. Started to become bloated and constipated about two months after the pain started. Finally after a year and a half, the doctor(free clinic no insurance, can't work)sent me for an MRI and found three bulging discs. I received three epideral injections my back felt better for a while, but stayed constipated and bloated all the time.This was in 2005. Since then I've felt a little better the only way I can go to the bathroom is with stool softners and suppositories together. It appears that when I lift something and hurt my back a little the constipation gets worse. The other day I coughed and felt a pop in my lower back. Again instant severe pain. My doctor refuses to believe that my constipation has anything to do with my back problem. They sent me for a sigmoidoscopy. Everything was normal. Treated me for IBS didn't work. Anal sphincter is very tight doctor doesn't know why. Now they are trying to send me to a surgeon to possibly cut part of the muscle. Here are the results from my most recent MRI. They are comparing it to the original one when I first had my injury. alignment is within normal limits L1-L2 Minimal disc bulge with slight flattening of the ventral thecal sac, overall, not significantly changed when campared to previous study. L4-L5 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based right parasagittal focal disc protrusion appearing slightly less prominent than on the prevous study. Disc bulge appears to abut the descending L5 nerve roots similar to the prior study. There is moderate right inferior foraminal stenoses and midl to moderate inferior left foraminal stenosis. Overall, there is at least mild central spinal canal stenosis. L5-S1 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based posterior focal disc protrusion slightly less prominent on the previous study. There is an indentation of the ventral thecal sac with protruded disc abutting the descending right S1 nerve root. There may be a small posterior annular tear. Overall, there is probably midl central spinal canal stenosis and minimal inferior foraminal narrowing. Impression Notable findings at L5-S1 and L4-L5 level, however the overall appearance of disc protrusions at these levels seem slightly less prominent than on the previous study. Does anyone have any ideas? I would appreciate any suggestions.I can help with advice for the constipation issue, which is to take the following herbs (don't laugh yet) which stimulate your normal muscle contraction of the bowels. I have seen this work effectively 100% of the time:Senna (the drug Senokot uses this) leaf and pod, Cascara Sagrada, maybe add ginger to relieve gas. I have this as a formula which one adds every night an additional teaspoon until you get results (normal, easy movement next morning). The dose can be continued for some time to keep it regular, and then stopped to see if your muscles got the hang of it. It's just like exercising any other muscle; you work it out so it gets stronger. I have done this over 5 years ago for about a week, and have not used it since, nor have I trouble with bowel movement since then. A ready-made formula is available through herbdoc.com, called 'Intestinal Fromula #1. I buy the herbs and make it myself as it's cheaper, but for (hopefully) short tern use it may be worth buying it.Good luck to you.
    Med Student 64 Replies Flag this Response
  • John 36 yr. old male 147 lbs. 6 foot with back pain for three years. I was sitting in a chair typing on the computer and I sneezed, went forward a little and had sudden severe pain in my lower back. Started to become bloated and constipated about two months after the pain started. Finally after a year and a half, the doctor(free clinic no insurance, can't work)sent me for an MRI and found three bulging discs. I received three epideral injections my back felt better for a while, but stayed constipated and bloated all the time.This was in 2005. Since then I've felt a little better the only way I can go to the bathroom is with stool softners and suppositories together. It appears that when I lift something and hurt my back a little the constipation gets worse. The other day I coughed and felt a pop in my lower back. Again instant severe pain. My doctor refuses to believe that my constipation has anything to do with my back problem. They sent me for a sigmoidoscopy. Everything was normal. Treated me for IBS didn't work. Anal sphincter is very tight doctor doesn't know why. Now they are trying to send me to a surgeon to possibly cut part of the muscle. Here are the results from my most recent MRI. They are comparing it to the original one when I first had my injury. alignment is within normal limits L1-L2 Minimal disc bulge with slight flattening of the ventral thecal sac, overall, not significantly changed when campared to previous study. L4-L5 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based right parasagittal focal disc protrusion appearing slightly less prominent than on the prevous study. Disc bulge appears to abut the descending L5 nerve roots similar to the prior study. There is moderate right inferior foraminal stenoses and midl to moderate inferior left foraminal stenosis. Overall, there is at least mild central spinal canal stenosis. L5-S1 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based posterior focal disc protrusion slightly less prominent on the previous study. There is an indentation of the ventral thecal sac with protruded disc abutting the descending right S1 nerve root. There may be a small posterior annular tear. Overall, there is probably midl central spinal canal stenosis and minimal inferior foraminal narrowing. Impression Notable findings at L5-S1 and L4-L5 level, however the overall appearance of disc protrusions at these levels seem slightly less prominent than on the previous study. Does anyone have any ideas? I would appreciate any suggestions. Hi there, I have got herniations to the L4 L5 as well as my C4/5 and find that constipation does make the pain worse down my left leg and buttock. I have tried many things to relieve the symptoms and have found that Movicol works for me. This was prescribed to me at the hospital after my bowel went into spasm (tight sphincter) and ended up with compaction.Alongside the Movicol, the only other thing that works is a heat pad (microwaveable) placed over the lower left of my spine. The heat from the pad helps to stimulate the bowel into a more gentle rythym. It can take a few hours of repeatedly applying the heat pad for the bowel to be stimulated, unfortunately.I hope this helps, Catherine
    Catherine Yates 71 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • This is an interesting thread and supports the symptoms that I have been having. Five years ago I had an accident that caused injury to my neck, and three disks in my lower back, most significantly the L5-S1 disk which is pressing on the nerves and causing numbness and pain in my right leg. Co-incidentally I have suffered from lower intestinal problems since that accident and have had every investigation and diagnosis under the sun from IBS, colitis to middle aged woman neurosis. I have repeatedly asked if my back injury could be the culprit as flare-ups with my back also means weeks of bowel problems. I do know that pain killers are definitely something to avoid and have changed my diet to avoid triggers like alcohol, nuts, milk protein and when things are really bad all meat.My cousin, who is a paraplegic, also suffers from stomach and bowel problems and has been told she has IBS. Since all of our nerves run down our spine it does seem obvious that a back injury could affect intestinal and bowel function. Why aren't the specialists making this connection?I really wish that I could wake up one morning without chronic pain and be able to visit the toilet without fear!Hi there, I have got herniations to the L4 L5 as well as my C4/5 and find that constipation does make the pain worse down my left leg and buttock. I have tried many things to relieve the symptoms and have found that Movicol works for me. This was prescribed to me at the hospital after my bowel went into spasm (tight sphincter) and ended up with compaction.Alongside the Movicol, the only other thing that works is a heat pad (microwaveable) placed over the lower left of my spine. The heat from the pad helps to stimulate the bowel into a more gentle rythym. It can take a few hours of repeatedly applying the heat pad for the bowel to be stimulated, unfortunately.I hope this helps, Catherine
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • John 36 yr. old male 147 lbs. 6 foot with back pain for three years. I was sitting in a chair typing on the computer and I sneezed, went forward a little and had sudden severe pain in my lower back. Started to become bloated and constipated about two months after the pain started. Finally after a year and a half, the doctor(free clinic no insurance, can't work)sent me for an MRI and found three bulging discs. I received three epideral injections my back felt better for a while, but stayed constipated and bloated all the time.This was in 2005. Since then I've felt a little better the only way I can go to the bathroom is with stool softners and suppositories together. It appears that when I lift something and hurt my back a little the constipation gets worse. The other day I coughed and felt a pop in my lower back. Again instant severe pain. My doctor refuses to believe that my constipation has anything to do with my back problem. They sent me for a sigmoidoscopy. Everything was normal. Treated me for IBS didn't work. Anal sphincter is very tight doctor doesn't know why. Now they are trying to send me to a surgeon to possibly cut part of the muscle. Here are the results from my most recent MRI. They are comparing it to the original one when I first had my injury. alignment is within normal limits L1-L2 Minimal disc bulge with slight flattening of the ventral thecal sac, overall, not significantly changed when campared to previous study. L4-L5 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based right parasagittal focal disc protrusion appearing slightly less prominent than on the prevous study. Disc bulge appears to abut the descending L5 nerve roots similar to the prior study. There is moderate right inferior foraminal stenoses and midl to moderate inferior left foraminal stenosis. Overall, there is at least mild central spinal canal stenosis. L5-S1 Mild diffuse disc bulge with broad based posterior focal disc protrusion slightly less prominent on the previous study. There is an indentation of the ventral thecal sac with protruded disc abutting the descending right S1 nerve root. There may be a small posterior annular tear. Overall, there is probably midl central spinal canal stenosis and minimal inferior foraminal narrowing. Impression Notable findings at L5-S1 and L4-L5 level, however the overall appearance of disc protrusions at these levels seem slightly less prominent than on the previous study. Does anyone have any ideas? I would appreciate any suggestions.John,i hope you do find relief. My spouse also hurt his back and later on also began suffering from constipation. he was not on pain medication; doctors told him it was not related; his discs were bulging with a small tear in one. he finally went to a chioropractor and had relief of most of the pain but still has some residual pain and muscle wasting in his leg and still has constipation. one physical therapist told us to see them that they could help with the posture, pain, and rehab with the disc problem. The web site: WOCN.org may provide additional resources on seeking appropriate help with this. They can refer you to a continence clinic that specializes in testing to find out the culprit. Ialso would say - get second /third/fourth opinions before surgery. Also if the stool is not passing easily due to nerve conduction problem with the discs then fiber would only make it worse. you need to loosen it up to allow easier flow through sections of poor to non funcitoning bowel.hope you get help. we are still working on it. he takes Miralax and castor oil.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • [this people don't know what their talking about if you don't want to be paralized go imediately tyo a sergion and talk surgery my husbund was almost to late his l4 l5 disintigrated when he got to the hospital he had a window of aprox 6 hrs before being completely parolized and yes your constipation has all to do with the pain soon you will need a cath... to pee and even loose your sexual disfunction please look for assistance. we went threw it no one told us i hope you take my advise in consideration and seek help. good luck.!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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