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L4-L5, L5-S1 Disc Bulge and Dizziness
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L4-L5, L5-S1 Disc Bulge and Dizziness

I had an MRI which revealed a bulge at L4-L5 and a protrusion at L5-S1 (after tons of reading, still don't quite understand the difference - "bulge" "protrusion").

My pain is in the lower left side of my back, left buttock and where my left leg meets my body (in the front around the pelvic area I guess). The pain is always there, but managebale most times. I've had 4 episodes where my back "went out" and I was laid up for about a week each time, barely able to move. This has been happening since October 2005.

I've also been experiencing spells of severe vertigo/dizziness for about a year now. I've had a brain scan and it came back normal.

My question is - I never considered that the two conditions could be related until now. I haven't had an episode where my back has gone out for 8 months or so, although it is always sore. Last week though I returned from a vacation and my back was very sore for about 4 days (and felt like it was going to go out on me again). Within a few days, the dizziness and vertigo started up again as well and has been quite severe. It just seems odd to me that both conditions seem to be flaring up at the same time. Then I started thinking - if my bulged discs are pressing on nerves, would it not restrict the blood flow in the nerves (which could cause dizziness)?

Does anyone have any insight into this or have you heard of this kind of severe dizziness accompanying lower back disc bulges and protrusions?
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20 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a bulge at L4-5 too and I have the same back symptoms as you. I also get the pain in the front which I usaully say is my groin area, but it is also where my leg meets up. I also have some herniated discs in my neck. Last dec. out of nowhere i developed a bad case of vertigo. It lasted awhile but the severity of it decreased then finally went away.I started having problems with it again a few weeks ago and right after my arm gave me a lot of problems with pain the docs referred to as nerve pain. I still have a pain in my neck but my vertigo has eased up. I had one bad episode when i was reaching above my head with the arm the was giving me problems then it went away. I have been asking the docs if the vertigo was from my neck and they have said they don't think so but I have been reading about this condition and problems with the discs in the neck. I still think this has something to do with my problems. I am waiting to hear any more replies you have to this. I have had my back and neck problems since an injury in Jan. of 06.
Chadry
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268575_tn?1242906671
i also developed vertigo,and wondering why........after reading the post you guys have on here now it gives me something to go on,doc gave me meclazine,i think it helps but it come back,thats all i need is another med to take.
by the way i know im posting this two months later,but i just noticed it............hope you guys see my reply because maybe we are on to something else related to disc problems
god bless-al
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Avatar_f_tn
My doctor also gave me meclazine but it made me very itchy. I only took one pill. I notice that when I have these flare ups if I put on my collar it seems to help because it holds my head stationary. Every morning when I get up I always wait a few moments before I stand up to make sure I am not spinning. I had asked a few different doctors if this was from my neck and most either no they don't think so or they are not sure. If you do any reading about people with neck problems you will find alot of them complaining about having this vertigo feeling. I still think it has something to do with the nerves coming from my neck because usually when this happens I have something else going on too. The first time I developed a stiff neck right about the same time and the last flare up I had severe shoulder and very severe arm pain. The arm pain made me go to the ER twice. The first time the doc said it was my shoulder and the second time the doc asked me right away if I had an injury to my neck which I have had. My shoulder xray came out fine. He told me it was nerve pain in my arm and he also said my vertigo could be coming from my neck he wasn't sure. It just seems like something always goes hand in hand if you know what I mean. I know you have some problems with your back too. I have been reading your posts. Hope everything goes well for you. I have a problem with my L4-5 area. I have a bulging disc with an annular tear and confirmed nerve problems in my right leg. They found that on the emg I had done. I have my good days and my bad days with that. This morning I had to get out of bed at 4:30 because I am having real bad back spasms. I have not had it this bad in a little while. I also have a tigling spot on the inside of my right knee. That is a new spot. Do you also get these random tingling spots? It's weird how things just kind of pop up. Never know from day to day or should I say hour to hour what is going to happen.
Take care and God bless you also
Chadry
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Avatar_n_tn
have you ever had a MRI done on your neck?  possible that you have a slight problem in your neck that is causing these problems.  it is common for someone with lower back problems to also have similiar problems in their neck.

it could also be the way you sleep when you back flares up, medication, or just about anything.  hope you can figure this out and work through it.
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268575_tn?1242906671
i cant say i have had tingling persay,i have had a fusion in my neck through the front and later went through the back,this was a year ago,i have been having neck pain and stiffness lately and of course im wondering if its my fusion,well allsaid and done im now going for my lower back fusion on the 26th of oct. got to be there about 6.30 am and surgury is supposed to last minimum 4 hours and 3 to 5 days in the hospital,i just yhope i come out and all these things that have been making me feel unhealthy goes away
god bless-al
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Avatar_n_tn
I have an unproven theory that the pressure on the spinal canal by disc herniation changes the CSF as it flows around, and can make you feel dizzy / strange.

I noticed this when I began to have work done on my back years ago, and as frozen joints in my spine were freed I would get very light headed afterwards.

just a theory.....
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Avatar_n_tn
pain on my right side hip,recent x-ray-narowing of l4,l5,s1,this has been hurting for over two years,last month i was feeling very dizzy,whent to urgent care and was told it was vertigo,and was given meclazine,After reading your comments i believe the must be related.I have a doctors apointment for my backpain and will mention your comments.
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268575_tn?1242906671
ive also been given diazepam(valuim) for the vertigo and it helps,never heard of it before in my life,AND now i find its helping in somem of my pain...................mmmmmmmmmm!!!!!maybe we are on to something here
thanks for lostening
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey how are you doing? I have been given valium also. I have to go back to the doctors for a refill. It calms you down but it also is a muscle relaxer. I was given it one time one I went to the ER for my severe arm pain. Helps to relax and get some sleep but also  helps to relax your muscles. I did not know that at first either until they gave me some at the hospital. I take a very low dose of Xanax at night to sleep a few hours before I wake up and hurt. I need to get some more valium though because I really do not take any pain medication except for a piece of flexerill once in awhile if I really need something.
It is so nice to see you back and posting again. Take care and God bless you.
Chadry
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Avatar_f_tn
I am new to this forum, but not new to back pain, surgeries, etc.  My advise is ...don't get too comfortable with your doc pushing another drug.  There are other things to research for vertigo.   Ask your doctor about the possibilities of other problems, such as Multiple Sclerosis.  I am not trying to scare you, but Dr's are quick to push a pill to mask the problem and not research what is causing the problem.  Plus, getting dependent on another med is just another open door to more problems in the future.  Hope all goes well.
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268575_tn?1242906671
well i was doing well until i went to see mt new doc the other day and because of my issues ,age, and other health problems,he thought it was a good idea to get the flu shot and the pnumonia shot(spelling) well wife thought it might be a good idea also,seeing if i did get one of these thongs it could be a lot worse or death,so i did,six  hours later i was back in the hospital for four days,my temp went up to104.8,had to call rescue.after a lot of testing they still cant figure why,they found a pocket of fluid in my back and took a couple of cc out and sent it out to be checked to see if bacteria would grow,along with a lot of blood work,to be tested.well im home today on antibioctics for ten days while they wait for the answer,it takes a couple of days for results,.if a bacteria grows i think i might have to go back in ,for a stronger antibiartic,i ,seem to be in a little less pain tho since they drew that fluid out of my back..................well i guess ill have to wauit and see,but i still dont feel different about getting the surgury,i believe the outcome will be great.....sorrry for borimng everyone just thought i let you guys know
god bless-al
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello...I have just read allof the comments here so Im not sure if anyone is still around...I have been going through lower back pain, pelvic pain(like the worst cramps ever), and left hip pain since Oct 2004...I was told it was my ovaries, scar tissue, etc...well Ive been seeing a pain mgmt dr now since May 2006..he ran an MRi on my back and he said all was fine...so ive been on loritabs now since 2004 to ease the pain as well as a few others that I had side effects with..long story short I found out today my MRI wasnt fine I have a bulging L4 and L5...any tips on how to ease pain? Any tips at all?

D1965
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Avatar_m_tn
hi have had a c4-c5 fusion done also diagnosed with l4-l5,l5-s1 prolapses witha 10 degree shift in the l5-s1 disc i suffer severe pain in my neck left chest area and my left side i have numbness in different areas on my left side also pins and needles in my left leg constant ly  2 and a half years ago i woke with severe problems walking memory etc it has improved it was like i was drunk spent 9 days in hosp with loads of tests etc bloods and lumber puncture and was given no results the neuro was baffled he said my central nervs had gone by testing me  but still baffled any one know anything only thing was protein was elevated in my lumber fluid? any one know still suffering
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Avatar_m_tn
I would like to say Hi to everyone and thankyou for all your posts they have been a great help and unfortunatly a big slap in the face.... Iam 24 and live in
the Uk..

When i was 21 i had a good job working for a paper mill and i enjoyed the hard work i worked the for a year as a temp but unfortunatly i started getting back
problems near the end of my year there. i have been in and out of the doctors and all they gave me was higher and higher medication .. which did nothing but
all they did was increase my dose telling me it was nothing and i was still young so .. anyway getting back to my story i got a new job as a contractor which
involved heavy lifting moving though the dirt and dust in some place .. up and down scafolds still carrying tools and what evey we needed to work... i was
in constant pain while doing this but i kept taking the meds the docs gave me and carryed on... *As you do* after nearly 2 years working and still in and out
of the doctors i left work because the pain was unberable and i insisted for a scan *MRI*... Based on that MRI They found out that my spine was not connected
and i was walking because muscles where surporting my back..

ALL of a sudden Doctors where so interested in getting me sorted.. Yet little i knew from march 09 it would take till july 1 st to have the opperation done
I was told that i would would have a tiny scar about 3 inch 2 screws and a plate to connect .. * To Infuse My spine*

The diagnosis?
Bilateral L5 spondlysis with spondylolisthesis at L4 / L5 and L5 / S1.

I was told by the consultant there would be 2 days in hospital and i would be as good as new in ... 4 to 6 weeks i was also told i would be in theatre for 2...
BUT when it came to the opperation and i was brought in to theatre and put under anaesthetic..........
5 hours later i was brought out and given 40 mills of morphine to bring me round and more.
I have a 5 and a half inch scar 4 metal screws with a plate...
All i remember was the pain the first few days out of theatre i didnt remember visitors everything seamed to be wiped out due to the morphine and still to
this day my memory is none to well...
5 days after the opperation a just wanted to come home i felt better but i was full of morphine but i came home in pain but enough to handle .. for the time
being anyway weeks later i started getting new pain worse than before and went back to my doctors where they upped my medication and here is what i was given..

Diclofenac sodium entric coated tabkets 50m 3 times a day
pregabalin capsuales 200mg 3 times a day
ORAMORPH oral solution 10mg to 20mg if needed and when required..? twice a day in my case
paracetamol tablets 500mg 1 or 2  4 times a day
fentanyl Patch 12 micrograms / hour one every 72 hours

Even though i am still on these medications i am still in alot of pain and its getting worse day by day I have terrible pain down both legs that radiates
from my waist down to the pads of my feet, i have constant pain toward the bottom of my spine. i find i hard to walk, stand and sit.... sleeping is a nightmare
mostly for my partner because she hears me moan in my sleep sometimes cry and toss and turn all night.. but at least i have my partner who understands my
pain.. she takes care of me and my 6 month son she is amazzing and i dont think i could have gone through this without her.... Its now january 28 th 2010 and
i wounder if i will ever get any better after reading all your post i question my hope for improvement my family dont understand and all they keep saying is
to get off the morphine..... Well yeah i would love to but then i would be bed bound and i would not even be able to hold my own son so all i think to my
self is whats the point......
Whats the Point if i am here and no one cares... except my partner and my son ... i have though about ending it all most of the time since before my opperation
all i get is grief from my sourounding family No One seems to understand apart for all of you and here and i  am glad i have read all your posts it makes me
feel a little better that people do understand my pain .. I feel with all of you because i do understand .. and if i didnt have my partner and son i would
not be here and iam sure of that...

Thankyou very much .. Goodluck to you all and to all of you who belive in a god .. Godbless
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Avatar_m_tn
Had constant pins and needles in both feet for well over two years. 24x7. Have good days bad days. Lots of tests..

Evoked potential test to test for nerve responses
2 x Epidural to test for infections
Podiatrist visits to check for trapped nerves in feet
+ lots of others.

After 12 months of investigation an MRI finally showed ..
"multiple disc bulges in the cervical region in addition to L4/5 L5/S1 with mild dural compromise and mild involvement of S1." .

Previously had Googled pins and needles in feet and never found the L4/L5 L5/S1 associated problem so thought I post this in case any one has similar symptoms.

There was good news with the bad news... the letter from the doc started ... This 41 year old right handed gentlemen....Not often I get called a gentleman. Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining. ;-)

Can trace it back to starting developing a website at home - after work, Sat down all day at work then came home and sat down till about 2 in the morning for about 18 months. Very concious of posture now. Used to sit down and bottom of back, just above hips, would slide back. Website is doing well (***.****.**.**) but not worth the damage I've done to my back.


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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problmes but wondering if you ever had problems in the feet cramping and the calves?
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Avatar_f_tn
Have enjoyed reading your comments have just had mri scan which shows a bulging disc towards base of  spine and 2 worn discs have been told a slight buldge but it hurts a lot I sit in my job a lot and i get terrible pain in the buttock and groin I get pai when sleeping and getting up have also got a torn cartelidge in knee which hasnt helped. I have had the groin pain for about 6 years and was told it was scar tissue from my endo I eventually paid to hev mri scan and am wondering what can be done to alievate the pain as I moan to my famil everyday about it am waiting to see what dr reconds!!
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Avatar_f_tn
oh and 2 years ago i to had a brain scan as was suffering dizzy spells !!
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Avatar_m_tn
I recently hurt my lower back at work, developing a large bruise from nowhere, and severe pain going into my butt. The same time as this, I developed dizziness that is quite frightening. I also have a congenital non union of C1 vertebra, which means I was born with a bone not connected at my necks atlas. I am wondering if the dizziness is from the back, or a progression of my neck issues?
I see a specialist in a week, but the last one I saw refused to even look at my CT scan and insists I have a torn rotator cuff. I am at the end of my rope with all this pain and dizziness, and am wondering if this is even normal to feel this way?
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Avatar_n_tn
I was reading what u wrote and its just so weird how so many of us with back trouble have suffer the same. You had mentioned about being dizzy thats the way i am all the. My pain is so severe at times that i get that way and its like if i could just throw up id feel better but thats not the case. My L4 is bulged and i have a crack at my L5 and a tear also and to top it off im leaking the fluid which is irratating the nerves and damaged some. My right leg is messed up and i have the numbness, tingling, and burning. It never stops. You mentioned about youre back giving out on you the same here. My husband had to take me to the ER and get pain shots and pain pills and be off work for a week or so. At first we couldnt afford insurance and then when we did get it Dr told me i needed to excerise and a bunch of other crap. I gave up on help thinking i needed to keep working and helping my husband with bills then over time i got worse. Finally able to have good insurance again i had another MRI done and i got worse. My primary Dr told me to go and get 2 or 3 opinions and come back and talk it over with him. I went for all the Pain Management stuff plenty of pain meds and the injections and nothing worked for me. Im not sure how old you are but im 43 and hurting as long as i have youre tired gets tired. They all say we will have to go thru alot of pain to be pain free and i think thats wrong. Ive seen where alot talk about the dizziness and being scared from it. Its a scarey feeling not sure whats going on with youre body. And believe me im scared. Scared of what im going to have to go thru to be painfree. Im not sure about to many but i get depressed and i sit and cry begging God to just help me wondering why me when theres thousands of other ppl going thru the same and they are doing the same as me and u and all. May God Bless you and everyone else reading this. Just find a good Dr and get more than 1 opinion b4 you decide on anything.
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