I am new here, and I just want to introduce myself. I have had neck/shoulder/upper back pain, sometimes severe, for over two years, but have been dismissed by doctor after doctor. After 6 months on serious pain medicine and muscle relaxers, about 10 PT appointments, and numerous trips to my doc, I finally got a referral for an x-ray and mri of my cervical spine. The x-ray showed arthritis (which the doctor said is a normal part of aging -- I am 28 yo). The mri showed the following:
hemangioma in body of c4
congenitally borderline slender spinal canal
c3-c4 small central herniation, osteophytes mildly narrow right foramen
c4-c5 minimal bulge, osteophytes cause minimal narrowing foramina
c5-c6 right paracentral herniation, mildly impinging on cord, no myelopathy
Mild degenerative signal changes in the disks.
My doctor said that the significant thing here is the herniation that is impinging on cord. I really don't know what any of this means...words like mild and small make me wonder if they can be causing my pain. Much of my pain is on the left side, but the herniation that is impinging on the cord is right paracentral. Could that still be causing the pain on my left neck/shoulder? I also wonder if the arthritis plays a part. I would really like a referral to a back specialist, but for now my doctor just said to try another round of PT.
I am happy that I found this site; it is wonderful to see how supportive everyone is.
I am aware that people here cannot translate exactly what this stuff means for me without seeing my films, but any insight would be greatly appreciated.
I know this is long, so thank you for reading!