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Neck pain and I don't quite understand MRI

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a 22 year old female who for the past 2 years has had frequent sharp head pains and sharp pains in my arms and fingers. I work at a physicians office and went and had an MRI done of the cervical spine to see if there was anything amiss being that I was told my my primary care once that my headaches might be caused by my neck. I don't think that the MRI showed anything wrong, it does say that there is a

slight eccentric disc bulge at the c2-c3 level but with virtually no effect on the spinal canal.

mild uncovertebral hypertrophy causing minimal narrowing of the neural foramina at c3-c4 and c4-c5 and does not appear to have significant impact on the neural foramen or lateral recess.

straightening of the cervical spine is noted,however, consistent with muscle spasm.

So it appears that I have some minor issues that do not seem to really affect anything...I don't know why I have these pains then, and what can I do to manage my neck pain now?



  • Welcome to the wonderful world of medicine. As Metal said, don't accept one opinion. You don't want to be like some folks who go doctor to doctor until they get the answer they want. Instead you want to get 2-4 opinions so that you can see what makes sense.

    Also be prepared for an answer that may not be simple. Everything in the body is related and more than one thing can cause the same symptom or pain. Sometimes you fix one problem and uncover another or even cause a new problem.

    Don't get discouraged, but do get another opinion. These days insurance approvals and malpractice suits make doctors very cautious which is probably a good thing. But you may be able to catch something now while you are young and healthy.
  • Thanks for your responses! I am just worried that if it is something minor now, how does one fix these things? Would a chiropractor be able to pop me back to place? lol. I am going to go see a new primary on Tuesday hopefully he can reccomend something for me to do about this. I just don't want these problems to progress, which is where you both seem to be getting at...i'm just afraid that i'll get a doctor along the way who makes this seem worse than it is...I am still a little worried about the hypertrophy and the symptoms it causes from what I have read are what i've been experienceing...oh well we'll see!

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Welcome to our forum. First of all your MRI is not quite what could be considered "Within Normal Limits". Most 22 y/o's don't have disc bulging at C2-C3 and what could be considered "Virtually no effect on the spinal canal" by one radiologist ... could be determined to be diffinatively abnormal by another. At 22 you should ideally have NO bulging of any discs .... and NO questions about effect on your spinal canal. Hypertrophy means increased area - or potentially foramenal stenosis. Foramens are the small holes that the nerves emerge from the spinal cord. Stenosis or narrowing can put preasure on the exiting nerve causing a multitude of symptoms. Does not appear to have "Significant" impact? .... well then what degree of impact does it have? Any impact "significant or less than" is not normal. Push for more better answers .... get a 2nd -3rd opinion. Hyper straightening - loss of normal lordodic curvature - acute spasmotic tortacollis is secondary to pain. Reduce the pain - via doctor recommended methodologies. "seem to not affect anything" if thats the case .... your still in good shape?. Keep a close on eye on changes .... they maybe be comming. Good Luck - Good Love,

    Bless us all,

    Spine-health Moderator
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