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My first question...

jdcattjjdcatt Posts: 18
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
...and there are probably many more to come! :-)

Is it true that cervical spinal issues can affect any area of the body below that level? For instance if there is a problem at C4 can nerve pain on the side of the hip be attributed to the C4 problem? Or pain in the feet? I just want to make sure I am understanding things correctly.

Before coming to this site I was doing a lot of research on MS and learned that MS lesions on the cervical spinal cord can cause problems from the level of the lesion on down. If this is true I would assume the same would be true for other things that cause trouble with the spinal cord like disc protrusion and such. Is this correct?


  • Your question of wether a injury at c4 can affect areas below that level depends on the extent of the issues. If there is no pressure on the cord and there is pressure on the nerve roots would effect the areas supplied by that particular nerve. You might want to take a look at a dermatone map to get yourself more familiar. Now if you have direct issues with the cord at that level that could change and or if you have myelopathy.

    I know this answer is not really complete, but it is just a hard questions to answer, based on the information. In the question you suggested a protruding disc is in question and if so, I would doubt that would be causing you any other issues outside of your arms and shoulders. Keep in mind we are not doctors just patients though and can only go by what we have been told.
  • to add on to tamtam's, dilauro posted a dermatone map in the "spine health announcements" forum.
    Well worth a look-see.
  • Thank you again tamtam. Your response is very helpful. Since there were no lesions found on my cervical MRI that leaves me having to assume the disc protrusion that is abutting my cord would have to be the culprit that is affecting my lower body. But if my neurologist tells me that the disc is not actually harming my cord that tells me that there is something else going on in my cervical spine it just isn't the disc protrusion.

    My arms are involved as well as most of the rest of my body. Actually everything from just below my eyes has been affected. I'm really leaning toward this not being a cervical spine issue.

    I'm trying to learn all I can before Monday next week so I can go in to that appointment armed with as much knowledge as possible.

    Thank you.
  • Hi Jim. I'm familiar with the dermatomes because of the research I had been doing for MS. Dermatome charts are very popular on MS discussion forums.

    One thing I learned is that symptoms don't always match up with the site of lesion/damage. Some MS'ers have lesions that aren't producing any symptoms in the corresponding area and vice versa. I'm assuming it would be the same for damage to the cord caused by anything else. It all gets really frustrating because nothing seems to be very black and white when it comes to the nervous system and figuring out what is causing what and where.

  • jdcatt, I think you hit it when you said that nothing appears black & white. Most often this is the case in medicine and of course as you say, it can get very frustrating. Hence, this is why support forums like this and others similar can be so helpful as a way to search for answers and help relieve us from some of the stress that forms living with illness and disease.

    I can tell from reading these couple posts that you have done a lot of research and wanted to welcome you to Spine-health.
  • Just curious if anyone out there has suffered an injury at c4. Mine was due complications from an injection for neck pain. Administered by a Dr at a pain clinic here in Charlotte. It has been nine months. I still have alot of numbness on my left side, cant use my left hand to do much of anything and my left foot is VERY numb. It feels like brick. It makes me not want to walk. I do have an AFO for my right foot. What I really want to know is if I will see anymore improvement after these 9 months. I had to learn how to stand, walk, etc. I was in a wheelchair, then walker, then cane - which I still use at times. The Drs really wont give me an answer
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