I've been having odd neurological symptoms in my arms and hands for nearly a year now--tingling, very mild pains, brief spasms, a general feeling of clumsiness (even though I still appear to be able to type 150wpm). Over the course of the past six months or so I've also been having problems in my legs--basically the same symptoms I'm having in my arms, along with a distinct sensation of weakness. It feels like I'm no longer able to recruit all of the muscle fibers in my calves, hamstrings, quads, etc. I become fatigued too easily. I feel unsteady, although my balance seems to be fine for the most part. Above all else it seems like I'm losing fine-touch sensitivity in all of the affected limbs, while temperature and pressure seem mostly normal.
I saw a neurologist (this was at about the time I began noticing the symptoms in my legs) wondering whether I might be experiencing the beginnings of MS. An MRI was done and no signs of lesions were found. It was discovered, however, that the vertebral discs in my cervical spine are almost completely degenerated. I have mild scoliosis, and at 16 I sustained a moderate neck injury which could very well have set the stage for such degeneration.
The neurologist ended up dismissing my concerns entirely, and dismissed all of my symptoms as psychosomatic. Oh how I wish that were the case. She also told me that there was no reason to believe the degeneration in my cervical spine could be causing my symptoms. Our interaction ended with a recommendation of psychotherapy.
I did my best to put my allegedly irrational worries behind me. However, for all this time things have seemed to be getting worse. I went on a four-mile hike the other day, and I've noticed that my leg muscles don't feel "sore" the way muscles do after strenuous exercise. Instead, they just feel very strained in limited areas (presumably in the areas of the muscles that are still being recruited, and not in the areas that are no longer properly being recruited). I don't seem to be recovering properly; instead my legs just feel weaker.
I finally mustered the courage to research my condition, and given the confirmed degeneration of my cervical spine, cervical stenosis with both myelopathy and radiculopathy seems to fit my symptoms remarkably accurately.
I don't have any serious pain. The nerve pain has all been very minor and almost always transient--several seconds of pain that registers 1 or 2 on a scale of 10, and then it's gone. I don't even have any significant neck pain, although once or twice I've had bouts where my neck is moderately painful for a day or two and I'm unable to get comfortable, even laying down for sleep. My neck's often mildly strained because I sit and stare at screens way too much, but I've done that for most of my life and it's never really gotten better or worse.
I know that I need to see a specialist as soon as possible. I don't think I'll ever opt for surgical intervention. I read somewhere that wearing a neck brace for several months might stop the progression of and potentially reverse my existing symptoms.
What do you guys think? Am I just insanely neurotic? Could this really be happening to me? One of the only things I really care about in my life is the piano. For me this diagnosis would be a death sentence. I appreciate any input or advice.