Hi everyone, this is very new for me. I believe that I have stenosis. I had an MRI (last week) for my neck. Over the last few months or so, I noticed intermittent tingling and numbness in my right hand (and my left pinky), as well as weakness, as I had been dropping things sometimes - this is what prompted me to go to my primary. Also, a little sciatica-like pain in my right leg once in a while (I had sciatica in the past, many years ago.). Anyway, just in the last few days, I now have leg pain, neck pain, headaches and lower back pain, fortunately not always constant and not severe, but not fun! I am 51 years old. (female)
What helps with the pain? I have only tried Advil, which doesn't do much.
I just quit smoking 5 days ago, before I had any idea that these symptoms may be a serious problem. I smoked for over 25 years, although I quit at least 8 or 10 times, and always went back within a few months or a year. I am now reading how dangerous smoking (unsurprisingly) is in causing spinal problems and in healing if surgery is needed, so I am very concerned about that. Just took the patch off as I read that that is bad also.
I went to see a neurologist today, but they sent me to the wrong doctor! She specializes in headaches (which I am getting some from my neck, but she is not the right doctor) so I have another appt. in a month with a neuro/surgeon and will have an EMG done before that. She did look at my MRI and said there is a lot of degenerative damage (I suppose smoking must have contributed), but thinks waiting until next month is just fine right now, and that this has been going on many years.
I would be very appreciative if anyone can comment on my MRI results, or if anyone has a similar issue(s) as far as a diagnosis or surgery. It looks pretty scary to me:
*No evidence acute fracture, prevertebral soft tissue swelling or epidural fluid collection.
*Caliber/signal characteristics of visualized spinal cord normal limits
*No evidence acute fracture, soft tissue welling or epidural fluid
*Multilevel degenerative disc disease, multilevel disc narrowing, disc dessication as well as posterior disc osteophyte complexes contribute to central canal stenosis, most notably involving C3-C4 through C-6-C7.
*Neural foraminal stenosis at above described levels.
Yikes!! I just joined a gym (before this happened) and am hoping to do the treadmill and some light weights if I am not in pain. I will ask the trainer. What type of exercise is helpful? Thank you so much for any help!!!