Has anyone ever been diagnosed w/ bulging discs in your cervical spine & congenital spinal stenosis?

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LakeMurray
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 6/4/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
THIS IS REALLY LONG!! Sorry, but ANY and I mean ANY help/advice/words of wisom would be appreciated. 
 
I've suffered through over 10 years of severe and debilitating chronic pain.  Mostly in my upper back/scapula/down both sides of my spine.  Basically the pain is from all my muscles being in a permanent state of spasm.  Never relenting.  And never once did it dawn on one of my half-million doctors to give me a neck MRI.
 
My question is this... Could bulging discs in your neck(the bottom 3 discs for me) cause THIS much debilitation?  Like, sooo much, that I haven't been able to work a lick since I graduated from college 5 years ago.  Graduating from college was a miracle in and of itself.  But, we all know, college isn't really that much work.
 
If it is possible that this has been my problem the whole time?  How successful were your treatments?  My doc is starting me on a traction machine(don't see how this could do the trick--but whatevah) and if that doesn't work.  He will give me Epidurals in my cervical spine.
 
I know that ANYTHING that has been untreated this long is going to be impossible to reverse the damage done and be completely pain free.  Which I'm fine with.  I have lowered the bar, mentally, a great deal.  So I just want some acceptable level of pain at which I can be a productive member of society and less of a drain on my wonderful parents(who will probably never be able to retire w/ all the medical bills I've racked up over the years).

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 6/5/2008 2:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
I have congential spinal stenosis. It didn't bother me until arthritis hit. Now I'm all sideways and in pain all the time. I absolutely cannot manage on my own. I don't know what would happen to me if my husband died. I guess I'd go to a rest home.
I exercised to two hours a day every day six years agol Then Bam the stenosis, scoliosis, and arthritis really wrecked me.
I've been to all sorts of doctors and teaching hospitals. They all have different things to say.
Right now I take 4 one mg. methadone 3 times a day and 1 and 1/2 mg of Xanax three times a day.
I definitely think you need to go to another doctor for second opinion. Frquently, people like us go all over the place trying to find help. My help may come in the way of a pain pump but I doubt it.
Good Luck,
Pamela Neckpain

hopeisreal
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 6/5/2008 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Well---I have a herniated disc in my neck (T5-6) and two bulging (T3-4, 4-5). I don't have any congenital(sp) anything....yet. This happened to me a year ago---but, the Dr.s didn't know I had a herniated cervical disc until Jan '08 (even though I had arm pain/numbness, neck spasms, etc) !!! I went to PT (which helped a little)---and I ended up gettting a Supine Cervical Traction Unit (an Empi)--which I use 1-2 times/day---and it does help!

Then, add to the neck problems---I herniated two discs in my lower back this past Mother's Day weekend! I shifted to the right---but, am getting better----but, it is killing me!!!! I do have "mild" arthritis in my lower back---so, it should prove interesting in the future....

This sucks! I am sorry this is happening to you! My insurance paid for my Empi traction unit----and it is the "cadilac" of units----so, check out if your insurance covers it! You lay down with it---which I like!!!!

Laurel

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Laurel ...
An Empi sounds like what I need. I wonder why my pain doctor hasn't suggested it.
I lay on the bed, put my arms over my head and pull my hair straight up to give my spine relief. (It sounds odd, huh?)
Pamela Neckpain
I gotta find a way to feel better. Gotta!

hopeisreal
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Pam:

I have NEVER heard of that!!! My 'unit" is called an Empi Supine Cervical Traction Unit---- check w/ your insurance to see if it's covered---- and if they do---ask your MD about it! They are pricey!!! But, I love mine----just got out of it aminute ago!

Laurel

PS--I hear ya' about finding a way to feel better! :)

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi LakeMurray,

Oh, I do hear you and I do understand the neck pain. I have both neck and back pain. However, I did get my neck pain under control after twenty years of horrible pain. My pain mgt dr did a procedure called Radio Frequency on my neck. What they do by way of using a ultrasound xrays is burning the nerve endings and that stops the signal for pain to the brain. My dr gives you light sedation so you are able to tolerate the procedure. This can last 6 months to a yr, however, I have only needed it on my neck once. I no longer feel like I have soft balls under my shoulder blades. I too suffered with horrible muscle spams and no matter what was done, I could never get them under control until I did this procedure. I have disc herniations at C5-6 & C6-7 and arthritis as well. I do not have stenosis. I do know that a majority of the time people with stenosis whether its in their neck or back have herniated disc being hidden by the stenosis. I would not waste my time on having the series of three epidurals injections done. My own dr says they are a waste of time and money. If you think you hurt now, having ESI 's will really make you hurt. Very few get good results with ESI's. Then, there are a few that have said they have helped with their low back pain.

I happen to have a newer TENS unit from Empi and its the cadillac of TENS Units. I would talk to my dr about the traction one of the others posted about that is offered by Empi.

Recently I took a nasty fall here at home and I am having excruciating low back pain, along with pain on the upper sides of my back. My dr changed me from taking my Zanaflex 4mg to one tablet every 2 hours and that is realy helping with the spasms which is what is causing all of my back pain. In addition he prescribed Baclofen 10mg at bedtime to help me get some rest. It too is a muscle relaxer. It is primarily prescribed for people with MS, for muscle cramping, stiffness and muscle spasms. This along with my Zanaflex has really given me some badly needed relief.

I currently have a Medtronic pain pump implanted and until I had this fall I was doing really well for me. My one big fault is over doing things and knocking myself backwards a few steps,lol. Thats just plain human nature for people who were once very active and then suddenly they cannot keep up at a snails pace.

If you feel your dr is not giving you the ultimate care which you are entitled to, then get a second opinion. One thing you have to watch for in pain drs is many will not prescribe medications and only want to do injections. Well, injections do not always work for everyone. When a dr tries to place us all in one category, its time to move on and kick that dr to the curb.

Hang in there, more people will jump on and offer ideas too. Susie



hopeisreal
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie:

I have an appt. (follow-up) with Back Specialist on 6/19----and I know they want me to have those dang epidurals....but, I'm just not interested. I had flexeril--but, it made me really tired---but, maybe I will try and ask them for another shot at it. I think my muscles spasm too much also! This, supposedly, "locks' my joints in my back! OUCH!

Laurel

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Laural, have you ever tried Zanaflex for a muscle relaxer? Flexeril is an older one but good if you can tolerate it and I cannot. At first I had to adjust to the Zanaflex, and my dr even allowed me to cut them in half because they knocked me out. Now, I can take a whole one and continue to function. I am on 4mg every 2 hrs right now due to severe muscle spasms from a fall 5 wks ago. I can function on them even at this doseage. Susie


SunnyDottie
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 6/5/2008 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Lake Murray,
I have a pinched nerve at C7. I had a fusion in 1989 when there was a bulging disc at C6. I did not do well with spinal injections. Seek another opinion. I am on a variety of meds. I am sorry that you are having such a rough time at such a young age but there is help. I take neurontin for pain, robaxin for muscle spasms and tramadol for pain also. I also did not do well with the stretching of the spine. It may work for you. Only you can decide that. I am seeing the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to go over a ct scan. You could also check out a neurologist or neurosurgeon.
Sunny Dottie

LakeMurray
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 6/5/2008 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks folks...

vivers28
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I have been recently diagnosed with disc bulging in my cervical spine (together with osteoarthritis and tennis elbow) and have been going to therapy for the past 2 weeks. As my PT said, there is no cure for the conditions (maybe apart from the tennis elbow) and we are merely slowing down the process and relieving the pain. I started to feel the numbness on my head, coupled with shooting pain coming from my nape up to either the left or right side of my head as well as numbness on my arms and hands. Had xrays done, but wasn't conclusive but when the MRI results came it, it confirmed the initial findings of a cervical spine condition.

Therapy included electrical stimulation (is that the right term???) on my neck and arm coupled with heating pads. stretching exercises, ultrasound and traction. Yesterday, however, i had a different PT who attended to me since my PT went on leave. she must have used too much weight during my traction because i couldn't stand the pressure and my head felt numb after a few minutes. I asked them to stop the procedure and went home, still with the tingling sensation. i thought it would go away the next day but twas there when i woke up. i contacted my PT and he said if it persisted i should go back to my rehab doctor. he said it must have been too much for me, overstretched my muscles he said. that freaked my out! i took some pain reliever but it only subsided the numbness but it did not go away. so i guess rather than go to my last therapy session, im going to see my doctor.

i hope what i described above would give you an idea as to what possible condition you might have. first time i went to the ER and the doctor saw the xray of my neck he was upset with what he saw. he said people often overlook the pain they feel in their neck, thinking it will go away or a simple massage will do the trick. often times if we ignore the pain, it will only worsen. Pain is our body's way of telling us that something is amiss in our system. take it from me...i've learned about this the hard way :( hope you will take note of this and see your doctor as soon as possible.

God bless!

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/25/2011 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
 
     Good morning vivers28!
 
          Hey...I wanted to welcome you to the Chronic Pain Forum here, but then I noticed that the post you replied to is one of our older post....almost 3 to 4yrs old. Most of the members you are responding to here, are not active on the forums anymore. shakehead
 
     When a new member finds our forum, we ask that they start a new thread (new topic), and introduce themselves there. You will recieve a much better welcome that way, and get much more exposure as well.
 
      So...Please!....feel free to repost this on a new thread, by clicking on the "Post New Topic" at the top of the page.
 
        I will give you a better welcome once you do that for us.
 
    Take care!
 
  SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3609
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
 
I started a new thread with vivers28 posting as this was to confusing using this old thread, so go to this new Thread:
 
 http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=16&m=2196522

Thanks White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 8/25/2011 2:30:09 PM (GMT-6)

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