Hi, I feel as though I am being fobbed off and wanted to ask if this is what I can expect....forever.
I'm 46 and have suffered from neck pain and lower back pain for at least five years. The doctors I have seen have said that I have some wear and tear and will just have to learn to live with it.
I have had MRI's and they don't seem to be too concerned with the results. Firstly, I would like to tell you of the symptoms associated and then I will tell the mri results in the hope that somebody can advise me of the best course of action, self help or just anything. I have been attending the pain clinic for about three years and have received 4 sets of steroid facet joint injections. 2 in the neck and 2 in the lower back, only feeling the benefit of the lower back but it does not releive the pain for very long......only weeks.
Symptoms. I'll start at the top and work down.
Headaches. Acute tinnitus. Neck pain radiating into the shoulders(mainly right). Numbness and loss of sensation at the back of my neck, upper back, across the back of the shoulder, down the tricep of my right arm, top of the forearm and back of my right hand. I have lost most of the movement of my neck and cannot look up or left. My head movements are jerky and as the day progresses my head feels very heavy, making it painful for my neck. I have lost full control of my neck and have trouble finding center. It automatically moves to look right. It sometimes wobbles and moves on its own.
I have lower back pain and have lost nearly all sensation in my left leg. It started with numbness to the outside of my thigh and calf but but now, all my lef leg is numb apart from the very inner thigh and calf. My left foot is also numb and always cold. Walking even short distances brings on a burn in the left leg. My left hip causes pain a.nd my knees and ankles ache. I've tried to walk through this which is extremely painful and results in total loss of movement of the leg. I have my next lower back shots in two weeks time.
I have had a nerve conduction study that showed a problem but the neurologist rang me two weeks ago, said it seems that I am wired differently to others but did not want to discuss it over the phone. He has now referred me to another neurologist in the next city but that is a month away.
Cervical scan results.
There is a straightening of normal cervical lordosis. Otherwise normal alignment of the cervical spine. All the cervical intervertibral discs are degenerative with minor reduction in height of C5/C6 and C6/C7 disks.
C3/C4: Minor posterior and right posterolateral disk osteophyte bar noted impinging on the spinal cord and on the exitingC4 nerve root.
C4/C5: Minor posterior disk osteophyte noted impinging on the theca.
C5/C6: Minor to moderate sized posterior and central disk protrusion noted displacing and impinging on the spinal cord. There is no abnormal signal noted w8thin the spinal cord at this level.
C6/C7: Minor to moderate posterior and right posterolateral disk osteophyte bar noted impinging on the spinal cord and on the right exiting C7 nerve root.
No focal bone lesions or facet joint arthropathy noted in the cervical spine. Incidental finding of bulky palatine tonsils.
Summary: Degenerative impingement of the spinal cord and nerve roots noted at multiple levels as described above. Incidental finding of bulky palatine tonsils. ENT opinion is suggested if patient has relevant symptoms.
Lumbar spine scan.
Normal alignment of lumbar spine. The L5/S1 disk is degenerative with significant loss of disk height. The rest of the lumbar intervertebral discs are of normal height and signal. At L5/S1 level, minor posterior disk osteophyte noted impinging on the bilateral transiting S1 nerve roots, more on the right. No other disc prolapse is noted.
I would be very greatful if anyone could pass on any information that could help me including self help and such.