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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi, not sure i am on right board if not someone maybe can help direct me. In the last month i am having progressively worsening symptoms an have seen my dr 3 times. I thought i had pulled muscle in my arms causing pain an aching but it didnt go away. Looking back now i started waking up to tingling numbness in my hands about 6 montha ago.also i have had neck an shoulder pain for years. In 2007 the found bone spurs an arthritis in my neck c5 c6. So my first visit to dr with new symptoms he ordered xray of neck an it states there is narrowing of c5 c6 associated with a 2 or 3 mm retrolisthesis. There are prominet spurs aboit the intersoace an posteriorly aboit the uncovertebral joints at this level. The vertebral bodies the articulating an spinois process the pedicles an lamins are visulized an are intact. Conclusion on report reads spondylitic an hypertrophic degenerative changes most sever at c5 c6. The findings at this level are worse compared to.2007 study done. I do not inderstand this an also am wondering if this could cause all my symptoms. I went back to.dr today because in last week the pain was so bad an it will move from fingers to arms but my neck is constant. He ordered mri for monday of my neck an is now also talking about ms an ordered a mri next friday of brain an referring me to spine dr an neurologist. Any one help me inderstand what they have found so.far. im not.expecting a diagnosis jus help understanding an mayb to jear from anyone with similar problems. I am very active 48 year old women. Have always had some back oain an also spurs an degenerative disc disease in lower back also an the just found arthritis in mu knee earlier this year as i am having numbness an stiff joints on lower part of body. Thanks in advance an look forward to your posts tami
Before I finished reading your post I was going to suggest that you make an appointment with a spine specialist. This can be either a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to the back and neck. Your problems are sufficiently significant that you should be under the car of a spine surgeon. This does not mean you will need surgery...just that these two specialties are the ones with the most advanced training in the structure and diseases of the spine.

I would see this doctor first and then let him/her make further decisions as to who you should see. Obviously we are not doctors...but that never stops me from voicing an opinion. ;) Unless you have a lot of other symptoms that you didn't mention, I don't see why he wants you to go through all the testing that would be necessary to rule in or out the MS. Personally, I would wait until after you see the spine specialist, because I think that will provide you with a diagnosis.

From what I can tell, your symptoms pretty much match up to what the x-ray reveals, and the MRI will give you that much more information about the discs and other soft tissue, whether there is nerve compression, etc.

It is important to know that the spinal nerves carry messages (both sensory and motion) down a neural path to the limbs and other body parts. You may have a compressed nerve in your neck that is causing the pain in your hand, or perhaps numbness in your toes, etc. If you enjoy doing a little research, look online for a "dermatome map." This will show you what part of the body is innervated by the C5 and C6 spinal nerves. You will see that it runs across the shoulders. C5 innervates the clavicles; C6 innervates the thumb and hand.

Spondylosis is a common source of neck pain. It is a result of "wear and tear" and, generally, comes about as we age. Symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands and head; sometimes in suboccipital pain and headache, and radicular pain (that's the pain that radiates out from the spine, like to the hand). Basically, the report indicates degenerative changes.

You will probably be treated conservatively initially. This can include oral medication for pain and for inflammation, a course of physical therapy, and perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections. Only after conservative treatments have been tried and have failed will some surgical procedure be considered.

Please let us know how you are doing.

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