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Spinal Stenosis
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Lovelyhzleyes posted:
My name is Tanya. I was in the MS group, but I finally found out what's going on with me. I have Spinal Stenosis in C5-C6. However, the pain is not just in my neck. It is also between my shoulder blades. There are times that I can hardly walk, move, or even sign my name because it has affected my whole left side; and has moved or spread (if it is even possible) to my right side too.
I am finally going to see a spine specialist, but not really looking forward to it. I won't take pain pills unless I have surgery because I had a drug habit 22 years ago. Doe anyone have any suggestions? Maybe some exercises and tips that may help me? The pain is unbearable most of the time.

Tanya
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bj1208 responded:
Hi Tanya -

When dealing with the neck area its usually wise to have a trained physical therapist or chiropractor help to show how to do them properly. there are lots of videos you can watch on the web but you won't get the full know how.

what you can do is wait to see your spine specialist - once he/she examines you and fully diagnoses the spine then they can give you treatment options which can be either physical therapy and or pain management or combination of both.

using a heat pad and ice packs - alternating - will help. also using extra pillows under your legs when sleeping on ur back or between your knees when sleeping on your side will help keep your spine more straight and should help with some pains. finding a good pillow for your head/neck is vital too. taking ibuprofen for the pains will help and also help reduce inflammation.

once you have your appt please let us know what's going on etc.
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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mamaof8 responded:
Tanya, this is called referred pain. We feel the pain in other areas from where the problem originates and what you ddescribe is exaclty what I have dealt with. My pain was sooo eexcruciating for days that I wish I could rip my arm off. I finally got some muscle relaxers that helped me get a little rest although all positions hurt. I agree with a chiropractor being able to help you, due to other problems in my t-spine I am not able to be adjusted. I have disc desiccation, large herniation, marked spinal stenosis as well as encroachment on the nrves and a spur. I have been going to physical therapy with little relief. The best relief I have found is a good deep tissue massage. Look for a certified massage therapist who specializes in deep tissue. Not sure where you are located or I would refer you. I wish I could say that was the only area of my spine with issues, but I can not. Let us know what your spine specialist says,I assume it is an Orthopedic Surgeon you will be seeing.
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to bj1208's response:
Hi Joy,

Thank you for replying ) As far as I know, I will be seeing a spine specialist and I will definitely do what ever it takes to help ease the pain. I know I won't get 100% better, but something is better than nothing right? The meds I'm taking are Baclofen (10 mg. muscle relaxer 3 times a day), Ibuprofen (800 mg. twice a day for pain and inflammation), along with Tramadol (37.5 mg./325 mg. to help with the Ibuprofen). However, I try not to take the Tramadol too much though. It makes me loopy.

I have been going through incontinence for 4-5 months now; which now I have to use pads most of the time. Honestly I hate it, but I deal with it. )

I did read your story and it truly touched my heart (it also made me cry). I'm sorry you went through and continue to go through the pain you do. How have you been lately? Has anything gotten a little better? Is this what I will probably go through? I must admit, it scares me a lot because I don't want to lose everything I worked so hard for. Maybe I am worrying too much, but I can't help it.

I will do as you suggested and will also keep you posted on any update I find out. Thank you Joy and God Bless.

Tanya
 
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bj1208 replied to Lovelyhzleyes's response:
Hi Tanya -

Oh no please don't let my story scare you and please don't cry - this was something that I had to have and would do again if a disc blew the way this one did.

my surgery, even though I am still in pain, is considered to be 100% successful as the surgeon did what he said he would do and that was to make the spine more stable. It's unfortunate, but bad backs run on my mom's side and it just so happens she has a bad back, my brother does and now I do! LOL

I do have the pain pump implant to look at and discuss with my Neuro Surgeon (not same surgeon that did my back) as I have found there are certain surgeons that will do pain pumps and/or spinal cord stimulator implants. so this is my next step.

Everyone is different on spine problems, surgeries, recoveries etc so I think you will be fine!

My back has not gotten better as there are other problems that are popping up and I deal with those as best as I can.

Thanks and take care ~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to mamaof8's response:
Hi mamaof8,

I know exactly how you feel about wanting to rip your arm off Two days ago I wanted to rip both my legs off from the waist down because they hurt more than my neck and back did lol. I live in Las Vegas, NV and yesterday I finally got a call from a spine specialist My appointment is March 12th at 11 am. and now I am actually looking forward to it.

I was wondering if you had some issues with incontinence? I have been having this issue for a while now and I'm not sure if the stenosis has anything to do with it.

As soon as I find out what this specialist has to say and all, I will post it and let you all know I will also suggest to him about the deep tissue massage. I have a lot of questions for this doctor and I need to write them all down to make sure everything is covered.

Thank you mamaof8 and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Tanya
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to bj1208's response:
Hi Joy,

It's wonderful to hear from you again! I'm sorry I cried after reading your story, but it pains me to see or hear about anyone going through pain (even if they were my enemy lol). It was as if I could actually feel your pain. It's just your story really touched my heart, made me sad, but hearing that your doing better makes me happy

I do have great news though ... I finally got a call from a spine specialist yesterday. My appointment is March 12th at 11 am. and I am actually looking forward to it now, despite being in pain lol. I will keep you posted when I find out what this specialist has to say and go from there. I hope to hear from you again soon.

Thank you Joy. You made my day

Take care and God Bless
Tanya
 
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WILDMAN777 replied to Lovelyhzleyes's response:
PAIN MANAGEMENT IS,NT WHAT U THINK IT IS WHAT EVER MED,S U R GETTING NOW THEY MIGHT TAKE HALF OF THEM AWAY THEY DID ME MY 10-325 HE TOOK THEM AWAY SAID IT WAS TO MUCH TYLENOL SO BE VERY CAREFUL BACK PAIN IS THE WORST PAIN U CAN GO THROUGH THAT AND TOOTH ACHES BUT PAIN MANAGEMENT DOCTOR,S R REALLY KIND OF WEIRD THEY LOOK AFTER U BEST INTREST LIKE LIVER DAMAGE AND STUFF BUT THEY DON,T RELIZE WHEN U R TAKING A CERTAIN KIND OF MEDICINE FOR A DECADE IT,S HARD TO UP AND SWITCH!! BE CAREFUL!!
 
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darlyn05 responded:
Hey Lovelyhzleyes!
Chimming in here. I didn't see in your postings how long you have been dealing with this and what type of Dr's and tests have been done or when/how the cervical stenosis was able to be diagnosed.?.

You mentioned incontinence. How old are you, as this could be from peri-menopause/menopause or instestinal/bladder issues. Please bring it up during your visit with your spine Dr. as some people with extreme spine conditions have incontinence related to their condition. If he can rule that out, then I suggest you visit your PCP about this. Generally, as far as I know, as long as you're not emptying out your bladder in that manner it's of Way lesser concern. It is a possible side effect of one of the medications I take. You can search for drug side effects using WebMd's Pill Finder/Identifyer. There is a/an add'l button you can click on that has a broader description of side effects.
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to WILDMAN777's response:
Hi WILDMAN777,

So far I have only seen my primary doctor. I see a spine specialist March 12th at 11 am. The only thing I have been taking so far is Tramadol, Ibuprofen, and muscle relaxers. I have no idea what this specialist is going to do or say. I will be careful and make sure I ask a lot of questions. I used to have a liver problem years ago with the meds I was on after multiple knee surgeries and once I stopped taking the tylenol with codein I got better. I find taking one Tramadol (sometimes 2), one Ibuprofen (800 mg.), and one muscle relaxer it helps a little bit. Do you have a suggestion on a pain pill that won't make my liver or brain go loopy?

I will keep up posted
Tanya
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to darlyn05's response:
Hi Darlyn05,

In October of 2012, I had x-ray's showing degenerative disk disease and just recently in January I had a MRI showing Spinal Stenosis of the cervical spine. I'm actually confused about this. What is the difference between the two and why was I told I have both? I see a spine specialist March 12th at 11 am. and go from there.

I see my primary doctor March 6th and will definitely let him know about the incontinence part. I have a great OGYN and have had my pap smear and other tests ran because I would go through months of not having a period, but they found everything normal. I am not going through menopause or have any infections of any kind. As far as I know, I believe I'm fully emptying my bladder, but not so sure of the meds part. I was diagnosed as a diabetic type 2, but now I'm a borderline diabetic because I watch everything I eat and try to do some type of exercise when I can. The medications I take are Metformin, Tramadol, Ibuprofen, and muscle relaxers, but started having some mild to moderate incontinence before months before I started all those medications except for the Metformin. I am only 41 and will be 42 in April, so I am a little clueless about it. My doctor also suspects I may or may not have MS along with the spinal stenosis due to my medical file from my last neurologist, but need to see a new neurologist (may even have to take ta trip to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona for testing on that). My head is spinning because I have no clue whats going on and why, but I hope they get to the bottom of it soon. What are your thoughts on this?

I hope to hear from you again real soon, but for now, I need to rest.
Tanya
 
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darlyn05 replied to Lovelyhzleyes's response:
I wrote a reply the other day and WebMd was busy so I will re-cap. X-rays can indicate degenerative disc disease(DDD), and MRI shows greater detail including some soft tissue. There are many parts to the anatomy of the spine so different parts can have different issues. If you look at or read the detail notes of your MRI you will see many different terms used such as the following:

FINDINGS: There are five lumbar vertebrae. The conus medullaris has a normal
appearance, terminating at the L1 level. There is minimal disc desiccation at
L2-L3 and L3-L4. Minimal narrowing and desiccation is noted at L4-L5. There is
moderate degenerative disc disease at L5-S1. The above findings are stable.

Findings by Level:
L1-L2: No significant disc bulge, herniation or central stenosis is present.
The neural foramina are patent bilaterally. The facet joints are within normal
limits.

L2-L3: Minimal disc bulging is noted. There is no spinal canal or neural
foraminal stenosis.

L3-L4: There is mild diffuse disc bulging. No spinal canal or neural foraminal
stenosis is present.

L4-L5: Mild diffuse disc bulging is noted, with mild bilateral facet
arthropathy. No neural foraminal stenosis is seen. The appearance is unchanged
from the previous exam.

L5-S1: No significant disc bulge, herniation or central stenosis is present. The
neural foramina are patent, bilaterally. The facet joints are within normal
limits. Diffuse disc bulging is noted. There is mild bilateral facet
arthropathy. No significant neural foraminal or spinal canal stenosis is
present.

STIR images demonstrate endplate edema at the L2-L3 and L5-S1 levels.

IMPRESSION: Overall, stable MR imaging of the lumbar spine. Degenerative disc
disease is noted, as above. No critical spinal canal or neural foraminal
stenosis is dentified.

In summation with the multi level and degree of the DDD and facet arthropathy it is determined to be Osteoarthritis of the spine, and with the narrowing-central & spinal canal plus neural foramina nerve compression is determined to be Lumbar Radiculpathy. If you note the last (italics/underlined) sentence the term 'Critical' is used. It was explained to me that lose of bladder or bowel control could be a result of 'Critical' nerve impingement or compression.

At the different disc levels( ie; L1/L2, L2/L3, L3/L4 etc..) there are different nerves that extend to different parts of the body, hence, how they are affected by them. Here are some links I have found - use their search box to narrow down your concerns and their other tabs to go from page to page. Learn as much as you can so you can better understand your situation.

http://www.chirogeek.com/index.htm

http://search.medicinenet.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?Searchwhat=1&query=Degenerative disc disease&I1=Search

http://www.spine-health.com/

http://www.medicinenet.com/radiculopathy/article.htm

http://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?query=degenerative%20disc%20disease

http://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?query=spinal%20stenosis

I wish I could find the one that showed the areas of the body that the levels are affected so you can see that as well. If I find it I will post it.

Hope this helps.
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to darlyn05's response:
Hi Darlyn05,

All those sites you posted did help and as soon as I find out whats going on from my specialist, I will definitely post updates

I start online college again today, but I am so sleepy and may take a nap first. I'm not sleeping well due to the pain in my neck, shoulders, etc. When I find my results from the radiologist I will post what is on the form.

Have a great day and I will keep you posted. I hope to hear from you again real soon.
 
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darlyn05 replied to Lovelyhzleyes's response:
Hey Lovelyhzleyes!
I sincerely hope you get some accurate and definitive answers from your specialist. I don't remember which specialist you are seeing, I'll have to go back and reread to find out. I hope it's an Orthopedic Spine Specialist.

What are you studying for or wishing to major in?

Best of luck!
 
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Lovelyhzleyes replied to darlyn05's response:
Hey darlyn05!

How are you? I'm in the usual pain, but I see the spine specialist at 11 am. today, so that's a good thing. The place is called, The Center for Diseases and Surgery of the Spine, so I'm not sure if this doctor is Orthopedic Spine Specialist or not. I will most likely post tomorrow because I have online college. I love it, but it is tiring lol. I am majoring in Psychology. I want to work as a Substance Abuse Counselor in a rehab. This April 10th will be my year anniversary at Argosy University Online College. However, I am dreading the month of April because I have my second math class (I hate math lol) and my birthday is in April too. It's like my college is saying Happy Birthday and your present is a math class lol. Do you have a Facebook? If so, then look me up. Be fair warned though ... I have two accounts ... One is mainly family and friends with loads of drama lol ... The other is some college friends and friends from my other account (which is the one I'm telling you to look up ... My user name is exactly like this Little Sweetie (Tanya Messina) and my profile photo is a picture of a rock with words on them. I hope to see you there and thank you for all of your help and advice.


By the way, you can call me Tanya


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