Q. I have a low back pain that radiates to my leg when i pick up stuff. Is it a disc herniation? I am a 43 years old bank teller. During the past 5 months I've suffered from a low back pain. The pain is not very strong, but it gets much worse while doing physical activity. When i walk or lift heavy things the pain is even stronger, and it radiates to my left leg. Can it be signs for disc herniation? A. It's possible that you have a nerve impingement from a disc herniation, but not necessarily so. What you need to know is that even if you have a herniated disc, the question is what would the recommended treatment be?
90% or more of herniated discs resolve without surgical treatment within 6 months. MRI imaging is generally only indicated if one is considering surgery; in other words, your pain and neurological status is such that surgery is clinically indicated. Then, an MRI may be helpful for the surgeon. If surgery is not indicated based on clinical/symptoms, then it probably is unwise to get an MRI. They often show abnormalities that are simply 'red herrings' and often prompt people to proceed with surgery that really is not needed. Beware!