It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Welcome to the board. Usually anything in the lumbar spine is not dangerous. The actual spinal cord terminates around the Lumbar 1 level on most people. Beyond this point, the lumbar nerves bundle together and form what is called the "cauda equina", so named because the early doctors thought it looked like a horse's tail. One does not usually end up with paralysis due to damage at the lumbar area. But, it can be extremely painful, and it can limit one's ability to walk. Also if the nerves in the cauda equina become badly compressed, it can result in problems with the bladder and bowel, like incontinence and it is considered a medical emergency.

The same cannot be said for nerve compression of the spinal cord in the cervical and thoracic areas. A bad compression at one of these segments can result in paralysis in some situations.

The anatomy of the spinal cord itself, consists of millions of nerve fibres which transmit electrical information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the upper section, the neck, control breathing and the arms. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the mid and lower section of the back, control the trunk and legs, as well as bladder, bowel and sexual function.

But when the spinal cord is flattened, it can cause more problems.

This is from the NIH website....

People with cervical stenosis with myelopathy may note one or more of the following spinal stenosis symptoms:

Heavy feeling in the legs
Inability to walk at a brisk pace
Deterioration in fine motor skills (such as handwriting or buttoning a shirt)
Intermittent shooting pains into the arms and legs (like an electrical shock), especially when bending their head forward (known as Lermitte’s phenomenon)
Arm pain (cervical radiculopathy).

So, while you feel like the lumbar issues are causing you the most pain, I imagine a spine specialist would want to treat your cervical issues first.

What type of doctor are you currently seeing and what type of treatments are you undergoing now?

My personal experience is all with lumbar issues so feel more comfortable advising you about that. Sometimes it becomes difficult to figure out exactly what is causing your pain. If it weren't for the "flattening of the cord" I would tell you that the problems you have at L5-S1 could be causing many of the symptoms in your legs, difficulty walking, etc. But as you can see from the information on the NIH website, cervical problems can also cause problems in the legs.

If you are not already doing so, you will want to consult with a spine specialist. This can be either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to issues of the neck and back. This would be the appropriate place to begin your inquiry, even if you do not need surgery at this point. These two specialties have the most training in the back and neck and will provide the most accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment.
[QUOTE=teteri66;5029358]Welcome to the board. Usually anything in the lumbar spine is not dangerous. The actual spinal cord terminates around the Lumbar 1 level on most people. Beyond this point, the lumbar nerves bundle together and form what is called the "cauda equina", so named because the early doctors thought it looked like a horse's tail. One does not usually end up with paralysis due to damage at the lumbar area. But, it can be extremely painful, and it can limit one's ability to walk. Also if the nerves in the cauda equina become badly compressed, it can result in problems with the bladder and bowel, like incontinence and it is considered a medical emergency.

The same cannot be said for nerve compression of the spinal cord in the cervical and thoracic areas. A bad compression at one of these segments can result in paralysis in some situations.

The anatomy of the spinal cord itself, consists of millions of nerve fibres which transmit electrical information to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the upper section, the neck, control breathing and the arms. The nerves which exit the spinal cord in the mid and lower section of the back, control the trunk and legs, as well as bladder, bowel and sexual function.

But when the spinal cord is flattened, it can cause more problems.

This is from the NIH website....

People with cervical stenosis with myelopathy may note one or more of the following spinal stenosis symptoms:

Heavy feeling in the legs
Inability to walk at a brisk pace
Deterioration in fine motor skills (such as handwriting or buttoning a shirt)
Intermittent shooting pains into the arms and legs (like an electrical shock), especially when bending their head forward (known as Lermitte’s phenomenon)
Arm pain (cervical radiculopathy).

So, while you feel like the lumbar issues are causing you the most pain, I imagine a spine specialist would want to treat your cervical issues first.

What type of doctor are you currently seeing and what type of treatments are you undergoing now?

My personal experience is all with lumbar issues so feel more comfortable advising you about that. Sometimes it becomes difficult to figure out exactly what is causing your pain. If it weren't for the "flattening of the cord" I would tell you that the problems you have at L5-S1 could be causing many of the symptoms in your legs, difficulty walking, etc. But as you can see from the information on the NIH website, cervical problems can also cause problems in the legs.

If you are not already doing so, you will want to consult with a spine specialist. This can be either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to issues of the neck and back. This would be the appropriate place to begin your inquiry, even if you do not need surgery at this point. These two specialties have the most training in the back and neck and will provide the most accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment.[/QUOTE]


thank you so much for responding! I'm currently being referred to a neurologist. They want to see my MRI results before they will actually see me, apparently. That is in process now, so should know more on Monday about that. Cord flattening is the scary part and I have been reading about C spine symptoms of which I have many. I do wonder if this has something to do with the leg issue as well. I have been diagnosed with sciatica so that would explain the excrutiating pain, but the leg heaviness and weakness, also numbness in my hands, lack of coordination, balance issues..so many little things that add up to be very scary and uncomfortable when they happen. I've literally had to beg for help from my doctors. I had to beg for the MRI. Where they weren't listening before, they are now. So we shall see. I just don't know how much of this is considered "dangerous". Cervical canal stenosis, from what I have been reading, can be very dangerous and I have C6-C7 with moderately severe stenosis and foraminal narrowing. I just do'nt want to mess with this stuff. I do have shooting pains down my left arm. Sometimes numbness as well, leading me to believe I was having a heart attack! The numbness is scary, all of these symptoms are and other than the pain in the lower extremities they come and go, but they do continue to come and go!

Anyway, thank you so much. It helps. :)





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:22 AM.





© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!