I would strongly recommend seeking the care of a physical therapsit in your area, or your friends area. In 46 states you do not need a physicians referral or prescription to see a physical therapist. Physical therapy is the most conservative, cost efficient and effective treatment approach with very few side effects. With out evaluating your friend in person it is hard to give a very specific answer, however many times MRI's are done when not totally necessary and findings on MRI's do not always relate to the persons pain or dysfunction. physical therapy is the best place to start. not all physical therapy is the same, and I would recommend someone who does manual physical therapy. Then if PT is not effective a consult with a physician who is not a surgeon and who does not own a MRI facility would be the next place to go.
Dr. Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT, LMBT
Physical Therapist in Greensboro, NC