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Mild Central Lumbar Stenosis

MSA3MMSA3 Posts: 3
edited 11/18/2014 - 9:09 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi All,
I'm a newbie. I a 45 yo female who has had sciatic disk issues since I was about 28 yrs old. I mostly had leg pain/numbness from a L5-S1 protrusion. PT took care of it.

Well recently I started having lower back pain and weird sensations in my feet so I was sent to PT again. The day after my 2nd session, I was getting on my elliptical and literally my lower midsection (lower back/pelvic area) just froze up. I couldn't move due to the excruciating pain. I was in tears. I couldn't sit, stand or lie down without pain. It lasted for days and then it eased up.

My doctor scheduled a mri (none contrast) of the lumbar spine. By the time I had the mri I was much better....just mid to lower back pain. The mri showed mild central lumbar stenosis at L4-L5, & L5-S1 (along with a disk protrusion). It said that it resulted from thickening of the ligaments (no nerves paths involved) and it indicated some degenerative disk issue.

I have only been taking over the counter meds and they help most of the times. However, some days it feels as if I can't stand long or sit. It's worse if I go days without exercise. I was suprised that there were no nerves involved because I was literally frozen. I have for a couple of years been having this uncomfortable gas issue and I was wondering if it could be related. Perhaps it is just digestive related. I also have been getting a shocking like pain in the right hip/pelvic area that my GYN thinks is back related. My PCO mentioned PT again and injections. I am really afraid of PT...thinking about having that painful situation and I am afraid of injections.

Sorry for being so long winded....just so frustrated and confused.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm so sorry. The injections really aren't that bad & they really help some people. You never know until you try. Maybe your doc could give you something for axiety before. Its worth talking about. Some people have sedation.
    Has a doc mentioned arthritis? My facet joints are bad. Have you had your SI joint checked out? That's a simple diagnostic injection (I'm sorry!) I have a bad pain next to my very lower spine, into my bum cheek. It makes my hips really hurt right around. Not sure if my thigh pain is also caused by my SI. They're the pains that went away with the injection (sorry). He put steroids in after & that helped for a while. I'm completely guessing. Just throwing ideas out there from my own experience. I just wanted to say there are other things to try.
    One horrible experience, flare at PT shouldn't scare you off (I know that's easy for me to say!) you say exercise really helps. I have bad osteoarthritis & keeping moving really helps me too. Sometimes it takes a frustratingly long time to identify all our pain generators. This summer I had my Galbladder removed. It had died. I blamed that pain on my back!! Sometimes it's worth seeing different specialists to see if a second pair of eyes notices something different.

    Best wishes.

    I'm sorry. I hope you get some answers soon.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks Englishgirl for your insight. I am going to definitely check into the shots. I am not afraid of shots....just don't like the idea of using steroids. The back pain has been really bad lately....especially if I either sit for too long or stand excessively. Stretching forward seems to relieve the pressure. I need to get some relief because I sit a lot at work.
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