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Syrinx - scared!

I was diagnosed with a couple of 2 mm syrinxes some time ago, but I'm starting to have more neck pain and tightness, lower back pain, and sometimes a slight feeling of weakness in my back and legs. I have no idea if this is caused by the syrinxes, or by the enormous stress I've been under for the last few weeks. Or both.

I recently completed some advanced physical therapy and was feeling great! And I got really strong – at or exceeding the goals they set for me. Once that was done, things started to go south. I have since returned to do some similar strengthening exercises, but it is not helping.

I visited the neurosurgeon again yesterday who said that PT is not going to help a syrinx at all. Surgery may be needed.

I tend to wake up at 4 or 5 A.M. and feel some pain/tingling in neck, mid-back, low back and down the back of legs and feet - and what’s like a slight throbbing weakness. But while I feel a little weak, I hit all of my target weights at PT, walk 5K per day, and I’ve started biking some (9 miles on Sunday and felt fine after).

Things get somewhat better as I get up and around, but after a day of typing I’m in rough shape. Even my lower back has gotten in on the fun lately.

My neck feels kind of unstable, painful on the sides; even swallowing feels a little strange. At the worst time of stress a couple of weeks ago, my face and even my tongue felt tingly - this has mostly gone away.

Only two things seem to help: exercise and Lorazepam (which I take very infrequently because it’s addictive). I’ve got anxiety issues, but the vast majority of that stems from having pain (and wondering what’s going on to cause that pain).

I visited the chiro and told him what was going on; told him to stay away from neck area. He did some mild massage and told me that my neck muscles and pectoral muscles are incredibly tight.

Acupuncture has been vaguely helpful. No major breakthroughs there.

Could all of this be due to the syrinxes?

I want surgery to be the last option. But I’m scared that by putting it off, things could get worse. I just don't know what to do and I'm obviously terrified of things getting worse or getting paralyzed.

Any thoughts? Hard to concentrate at work right now : (


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Doug Hell

    Also working with us very closely is Allison Walsh from the Spine-Health company


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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