Re: please help me understand
I don't know much about reading MRIs....though some other members can prob help there.
What I do know is that images are not always as helpful in back/spine land as one would hope. A painful, even debilitating, condition may look like nothing at all on an MRI and someone with no pain or issues may look like a mess on a picture. It is truly annoying but it means you should always keep advocating for yourself and asking for help if you are in pain. Many of us back boardies have found it can take a couple docs to get the one who offers a real helping hand. DON'T ever let anyone say "it isn't a big deal" and dismiss you...if it hurts, it matters.
A prior doc (switched b/c of a move and b/c I needed to move to a surgical consult) had a really great take on things once. At the time, the MRI showed a very minor issue (in the end there was a bigger one there that the films didnt show well...the surgeon was shocked when he "got in there" and saw the degree of degeneration). He told me that it was medically quite minor BUT he knew from firsthand experience that it still FELT like a bullet to the spine. I needed that and appreciated him validating my pain.
Of course, you haven't said anything that indicates your doc ISN'T taking the pain seriously, but the findings sound "medically minor" and so I just want to send some understanding and validation.