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neck problems causing numb and stiff feet?

autumnjoyaautumnjoy Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hi everyone. i was wondering if cervical problems could cause numbness and pain and stiffness in the feet?

my newest mri reports moderate stuff going on at C6-7, its pressing into my spinal cord and the left nerves the worst.

on top of the nummbness and pain in my fingers and shoulder, im also having very stiff feet that also go numb. could the cervical problemms be causing this?

thanks so much..... Autumn


  • From the research and reading that I have done due to my own leg and feet symptoms, which include pain and stiffness, these can come from cervical problems. If your symptoms are coming from your neck, it does indicate that the cervical problems are quite advanced. (I notice that your MRI report states 'moderate'.) Have you had your lumbar spine checked?

    I also have been told that my MRI scan shows that two of my discs/osteophytes are compressing my cord.

    The neurologist that did my EMG and nerve conductions studies 2 weeks ago, did say that he thought that my leg and feet symptoms were being caused by my neck. He didn't test my legs though, only my arms and hands, so I suppose he couldn't be sure. He did say that I definately did have compression in my neck, but didn't say if it was of the cord or the nerve roots.

    I think I have more numbness in my hands and wrists than I realised. I was making jam the other day, and it was spitting up at me. Well, yesterday I noticed a blistered burn about the size of a pea, on the outside of my right wrist. I hadn't noticed it at the time!!

    I am still waiting to see the neurosurgeon to hear what he says. Who knows when that will be, as I am in the UK and waiting for medical appointments is the norm. I was originally referred to have my neck investigated at the beginning of August, LAST YEAR!!

    Patience is a virtue!!

    Have a good weekend. :-)

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    I had severe stenosis of the cervical area and I had all kinds of problems with my feet and legs. Along with balance issues. I had surgery to correct the stenosis and all the issues disappeared
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  • So good to hear that your cervical surgery solved all your issues.

    That is the sort of surgery story that we like! :D

  • thankyou so much for taking the time to answer my post.

    i have an appointment on Tuesday to go over the mri report with the clinic. i go to the free clinic here, for the working uninsured.

    i have had these symptoms before, starting about 3 years ago, aand my mri reported mild problems. my symptoms would flare up for awhile, then subside.

    fast forward... i moved the beginning of june and my symptoms got worse and havn't gone away. i went back to the clinic a month ago, and they ordered another mri, which showed moderate problems and it said the osteophyte complex was pressing my spinal cord and closing upp the left nerve root a little worse than the right.

    i am truly suffering and just want so bad to have some relief.

    i have constant numbness in my fingers (left side worse, and a very deep ache in my shoulder, that at times, gets excruciating. i dread going to bed because i wake up several times a night yelling out in pain and in tears. i am so exhauseted from tlack of sleep.

    in the mornings, my hands and feet are so stiff and painful and the numbness is quite intense. i cannot close my hands or bend my feet.

    im just thinking its all coming from my neck.

    can anyone tell me what im looking at here? do you think they'll be able to help me? gosh, i hope so...
  • i am sorry you are suffering too.

    i had an mri of my lumbar area 3 years ago, and it showed mild changes. im not having alot of pain in my lower back. i mean it hurts, but not as bad as my upper bod, w/ the exception of my feet.

    the numbness is quite crazy! mine gets quite bad sometimes. i have a hard time grasping things, and im constantly dropping things. im so afraid of permanant nerve damage.

    im really hoping that i can get a nerve conduction test, i think that will tell alot.

    i hope that you are able to get an appointment soon.
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  • Hi Autumn,
    I have very much the same & have wondered the same.
    My hands & feet are involved & I can never get a straight answer. I'm going to schedule an EMG & my PM is sending me to a Rhuemy, maybe he'll give me some answers. I have DDD & fusion at the 5/6 level. The surgeon let me know that the C4 & C7 are in rough shape but this never appeared on any MRI, neither did the extent of my damage. So I don't have much faith in tests for now. I'm getting swelling now so off to see if there is a secondary problem but I wanted you to know I am in the same boat so to speak. Thus far my PM believes I have nerve pain in my hands & I fully agree there.

    I do have mild problems in my lumbar but no one has indicated it would be causing the problems in my feet. I shuffle in the mornings now & can't pick my feet up.
    They don't like to bend. My hand can freeze in the bent position or refuse to bend at times. Like you it often wakes me up. Night time & mornings have always been rough for me. So I feel for you.
    If you can let us know how your appointment goes.
  • :SS I have had 2 major spine operations in UK. PLIF + rebuild in December 2008 and ACDF C4/5/6 in September 2010 and I am still suffering from numbness in feet in fact many days it feels as if they are not there! I have recently had neck injections and they got rid of this problem but only for 3 weeks then pain in neck, shoulders, back and stiffness in feet came back with a vengeance. Injections were also diagnostic so my Spinal Surgeon who I saw on 6/9/2011 is going to operate on facet joints in areas C5/6/7 and apparently fuse them with a titanium plate and screws. Hope this helps you. Good luck from the UK.
  • I had relief from injections also. Never sure whether its all the steroids or if its the neck. In fact my next one is lined up before the holidays.
    Yes these can be used for diagnostic reasons.
    Some get relief & some none & there are those who say it flairs up the pain. Since my fusion Ive always had relief somewhere. That may be an option Autumn, if you can get a doctor to try it, ESI's injections.
  • well, i went to my appt at the clinic. long story short... the nurse practioner doesnt feel like my symptoms are coming from my neck. she said that the mri only showed mild problems (even though the reprt says moderate broad based osteophyte complex more prominent left of mid-line, causes mild focal central canal encroachment and left foriminal narrowing.)

    after doing a little exam on my shoulder, she said she could feel grinding and is sending me for an mri on that. im thinking i probably have arthritis in that as well.

    she mentioned carpal tunnel syndrome. i know i have cts in both hands, but i've had flare-ups of that before, and this isnt the same.

    with cts, if i bend my wrist up, it alleviates the numbness. now, if i bend my head forward and stretch my neck, it alleviates the numbness a bit.

    my middle and pointer finger and my thumb are constantly numb and more goes numb if my symptoms are bad. i have been frequently dropping things all day long, and this worries me. if you look at a dermatome map, my symptoms are right in line with c6-7.

    i am so frustrated. im going on almost 4 months of horrible nights and mornings. im afraid im never going to get any answers.

    they're supposed to be sending me a large university hospital for further evaluation, but i havnt heard anything back from then since my appt last week...=(

    sorry, i just had to rant a bit and get that off my chest.

    is it possible to have milder problems and experience more symptoms than usual? is it possible to have very sensitive nerves that could cause more problems?

    do you think an mri with contrast would be more beneficial?

    any advice is greatly apprecitated!
  • Yes your MRI may read one way & your body another.

    My first MRI read mild & the second moderate yet I had major problems. I realize the doctors must consider the MRI results but they should be part of the diagnostic not all.

    I went the same route you are. Had the shoulder looked at, found some problems, went for surgery & discovered one year later that mild cervical problem was not so mild anymore & don't think it ever was.

    Long story short even the MRI done before my surgery did not indicate the problems in my cervical spine. The surgeon had some surprises waiting for him in there.

    I sure can't tell you what to do but I can say follow your instincts. I did have one doctor tell me these tests are not always 100% accurate. Not every little things appears on every test.

    There are other ways of determining if the your problems are from the Cervical so keep that in mind.
    I was diagnosed with shoulder problems, CT & so on...yet I knew it coming from my neck & I think my PM doctor knows that also.

    I'd love to share more but have to run...I'll check back later.
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