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Am I suffering from slip disc?

Q: I am a 36 years old male weighing 68 kg. I underwent MRI scan, which showed spinal canal dimensions at inter-vertebral disc levels-L4-5 12 mm, L5-S1 11 mm and lateral recess dimensions - L4-5 non-measurable (Right), 02 mm (Left) and L5-S1 04 mm (Right), 03mm (Left). Impression - degenerative disc herniation at L4-5 level causing pressure over thecal sac and narrowing of right lateral recess. Am I suffering from slip disc? Is it safe to do weight training? Kindly guide me. Suggest some exercises for me.

A:You have only mentioned about your MRI findings. You have not mentioned about any of your symptoms. The MRI dimensions at the discs levels are within the normal range and you do not need to worry about that. Anyway we do not worry about MR pictures as it is common to have false positive appearances of disc bulge on MR evaluation of normal people. Therefore we never treat MRIs. We treat patient’s specific symptoms and problems. You are 36 years, in a weight bracket which is slightly higher for your height, with symptoms of apparent ‘dropping of fitness levels’. This is the age when most professionals (you mentioned you are one) tend to have health problems of their sedentary existence. Increasing abdominal girth, decreasing physical activity, increasing food consumption often with social drinking all adding up to poor health status. In addition this is also time when diabetes mellitus becomes manifest and quite often patients are found to be hypertensive. It is unwise to get into the kind of gym exercise regime that you are planning without getting a preliminary medical evaluation done. I am not going to recommend that you start any specific exercise until you get a good physician to approve that you are fit enough to do those exercises. Don't just go by your MRI reports.

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