Anyone have Cervical Spinal Stenosis w/ disc bulges?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 7/16/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
If so, what are your symptoms.  I've been in severe and disabling chronic pain since I was about 18.  That was 10 years ago.  A doctor, just recently, said I had Cogenital Cervical Spinal Stenosis along w/ disc bulges and that this issue could've been my main problem all these years.  My pain is in my upper back, behind my scapulas, lats, and teres muscles.  They are all in a permanent state of spasm.  Long story short, do you think Cervical Spinal Stenosis w/ disc bulges could cause THIS much pain?
I also had torn labrums in both shoulders, from wrestling for 6 years in high school.. Though both have been addressed and neither surgery helped calm the spasms/pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/16/2008 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Lake,
Unfortunately yes, I do think the stenosis - which is a narrowing of the spinal canal through which nerves are passing - could cause your pain. And if it's congenital, that means it's likely worsening over time. Add to that you were a wrestler. So I think your pain definitely could be caused by all this.

What does your doctor suggest for treaments?


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 7/16/2008 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, "unfortunate" is the wrong word.  I'm happy if this could be the problem, after all these years I've often cried my eyes out to my parents telling them how happy I would be if I was diagnosed w/ cancer.  As opposed to--"we have no clue why you are being tortured?".  It's a shame that it took so long for someone to diagnose this, but I'm to desperate for a future to worry about the past.  I graduated from college in 2003--but haven't been able to work a lick since.  Anyway--IF this is the problem, it is good news.  So you should be congratulating me, dammnit :-)
The doctor who originally ordered the MRI was actually an infectious disease doc (I was hoping he could find some random thing like is always found on Discovery Health show).  Well, he said "why have you NEVER had a neck MRI?  I said because "I asked a doctor to give me one and told me neck problems wouldn't cause back/shoulder problems".  Like an idiot, I took a doctor at his word.  And I guess every doctor since just assumed I had previously been checked for neck problems.  Since I had been to so many drs prior to my visit w/ them.  I took the radiologist results and the MRI CD to the doctor who's been prodding me and poking me w/ needles since 03, and he said he thought that the stenosis and bulges COULD VERY WELL be the problem(because my spine is, quote, very very narrow).  He said he "just never thought about it because I didn't have pain radiating down my arms to my fingertips".  ARGGGGHH. 
Oh well.  He's gonna give me an epidural injection soon and we'll see what that does.   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/16/2008 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Lake,
I sure understand the relief at finding something that may help answer the problem, since that helps point to possible treatments. I thought I might have been too direct! But please remember I'm not a doc.

I just had lumbar fusion surgery last fall. But I've had cervical problems starting in my 30's (I'm 58 now), and I've managed them with a lot of physical therapy, good erognomics, stretches - and I still do all those things. Even when I went into surgery last fall I begged everyone to please keep my neck in the right position! I can't sleep even for one night without the right cervical pillow without having to start the neck brace, heat, super-delux stretch routine all over! So I am very watchful.

And having bulding disks in your neck (that's what my MRI showed in the early 90's, and I've not had one since - not having surgery or injections or anything as long as I can manage it), I can tell you that can pull your neck out of alignment (and I wasn't a wreslter!) so that pulls musclesl out of alignment and could easily cause all kinds of upper body muscle problems. I've had that for years and a good massage therapist was another godsend. Wish I could afford one now.

I'm a bit confused by your history. Is it the doc who didn't order a cervical spine MRI who's also poking and prodding you with needles? If so, and if you're planning to go back to him, I'd find someone else. It's just my opnion, but any doc that starts doing spinal injections without the information from an MRI is being negligent. Again, just my opinion. And if he's the one who's let this go undiagnosed for years.....I would ask that infectious disease doctor - who DID his job by THINKING about your case - for a referral to someone who's more thorough.

And by the way, Congratulations! :-)


Post Edited (PAlady) : 7/16/2008 3:05:39 PM (GMT-6)

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 7/17/2008 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I think your dx could cause that much pain. I know they could.
Best thing: You are young. Find the best docs. Work with them. Never give up.

Congratulations to all of us who bear chronic pain

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 9/14/2008 11:24:42 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 7/17/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
While I do not have spinal stenosis in my cervical I do have bulging discs and a herniated one in my neck. Yes, the pain can be that debilitating! I have days where the pain shoots up and down my neck, my arms with tingling, in between my shoulder blades and wraps around my ribs with no let up. It is the most HORRIBLE feeling! But I know what you mean about having relief of just knowing that this pain is actually acknowledged by a professional. I have been dealing with the same thing so when I finally found out that I had bulging discs I felt like jumping for joy that I actually know what's wrong with me! I didn't jump around for joy though - I didn't want appear to be crazy ya know? :)
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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/14/2008 12:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. I am suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis for over a year now. It actually worsened as i lost weight. I have had an MRI and have been taking narcotic painkillers for about a year or so. They do work but it has been a double edged sword. A few months ago i decided to start to ween off the pills and my doctor has been supportive and proud of my decision. Some of the deciding factors were that i am only 25 years old and i would get treated like an addict at the pharmacy even tho it has been the same pharmacy and they have seen the decreasing dosage, also because i have had my pills stolen and have run into trouble in an out of country airport. I dont like being treated this way because i am screened by my doctor and was one of only a few who was found to be taking the medication as intended, 200+ were kicked out after screening. I also figured it wouldnt be wise to be taking these meds forever at such a young age. Well now i have gotten to the point where the dose is not working and i am in alot pain. I like my doctor very much and dont want to trouble him after seeing him recently but i have had to take more then intended to kill the pain and i am almost out. I am concerned because withdrawls are hell and i cant do injection to my spine because i am deathly afraid of needles. I dont want my doctor to view me differently after making good progress but i just cant live with the pain. Any suggestions?
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