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Arthritis and Stenosis

nowwhat44nnowwhat44 Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Just diagnosed with moderate/severe stenosis of the L4 spine. Despite the diagnosis of severe my pain is not that bad and managed with over the counter meds. I was stunned to hear it was that bad, compared to my pain level. I am kinda depressed to hear this diagnosis but feel fortunate not to be in so much pain. I guess I am wondering if anyone else has any similar conditions and do you have any idea why my pain is not worse? I am hoping I am lucky and it won't but part of me thinks I am just getting that much closer to it being severe and debilitating. Is it possible I can hold on like this?


  • Hey if its not bothering you that much then great for you. Hopefully it will last a long long time before you start to feel any of the affects. My mri showed mild to moderate and i have severe pain so who ever knows how things will go. Just keep doing whatever it is your doing because it seems to be working for you.
  • and my pain levels vary by the day. The worst pain you'll have from the stenosis itself is the leg-related pain, so when I saw my NS last week, he said there's really nothing to be done until those issues become a problem or there is bowel/bladder incontinence. I manage mine with prescription anti-inflammatories, other drugs for breakthrough, when necessary, and I go for physiotherapy and/or massage or acupuncture twice a week just to keep things moving the way they should.

    I find that mine is bearable as long as I don't sit or stand too long, and I sometimes have issues if I've done too much walking, especially in shoes that aren't the best.

    I've come to learn that sometimes a diagnosis or an MRI/CT scan report can be deceiving, because our minds go to the worst possible place.

    Glad to hear you are coping - hope it continues that way for you!

  • It is possible you could hold on for years like that. But I do not recommend it. If your Stenosis is caused by a Herniation , then the Herniation can Calcify and cause this to be a life long problem, or a very difficult surgery. Or it can Worsen into Cauda Equina Syndrome like it did to me.

    Its great you can Manage your Pain with over the counter Medications. I hope it never becomes worse than that. Do you ever feel that Leaning forward relieves the pain?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
    many times go hand and hand with patients that have had spinal surgery at one time or have been in a trauma situation.

    The pain levels of all of the above can vary frequently. Like Tracy stated, some days its worse than others.

    Degenerative Disc Disease is probably the easiest of the above to manage. In most situations, an approved exercise program and over the counter NSAIDs can keep that in control.

    Arthritis, well you want to keep an eye on it. Once you have had diagnostic tests to identify arthritis masses in various joints, you need to keep on top of this. Things happen pretty fast with Arthritis. I had some early signs in 2001, by 2005, my shoulders were impacted and I was going for steroid injections every six months. However, the arthritis advance so quickly, my only option was to have both of my shoulders totally replaced last year.

    Stenosis. Most of us have to live with it and manage it. The severe causes that not only clinically show as being severe, but patient pain coincides with the problem, thats when potential aggressive actions might be put into place.

    For me,getting out of a chair, a car, etc is the worst time for my pain from stenosis. It takes a good amount of steps and walking before that calms down.

    But you know, this has almost become my daily routine, so I really dont think that much about it.

    However, you never want to overlook something that is causing you pain and discomfort. You need to talk things over with your doctor to get their input as to what is the problem and what can be done
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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