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AlwaysForward

Finally MRI showing issues in the cervical (results enclosed)

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Years ago, I had MRI's back and neck and the only thing that showed was a loss of curve in the lumbar.  This time, a bit different.  In addition, my X-ray showed a total loss of cervical curve but this MRI says alignment is normal.  I dont know if that is the same thing meaning the curve gets pulled when I am in spasm.   I am obviously not training right now.  

 

I found out my father who has all the same thing has Celiac Disease, so does my brother.  There is evidence to show Celiac can cause a lot of my symptoms along with this.  I cut all gluten yesterday.  It can't hurt.  I am seeing a spinal guy the 24th but thought I'd post for feedback.  

 

Impression
Multilevel mild degenerative changes of the cervical spine as detailed above.

Narrative
MRI CERVICAL SPINE WITHOUT INTRAVENOUS CONTRAST:

TECHNIQUE: 
Multiplanar multisequence MRI of the cervical spine was performed without intravenous contrast. 

IV contrast: None.

HISTORY: Cervical spondylosis evaluate for disc herniation

PRIORS: None.

FINDINGS: 
BONES: Vertebral body heights are maintained. Multilevel mild loss of intervertebral disc space. Alignment is normal. Bone marrow signal intensity is within normal limits.
CERVICAL CORD: Craniovertebral junction is unremarkable. The cervical cord is normal size and signal intensity. No lesion is present.

CERVICAL DISC LEVELS:
C2-3: No significant spinal canal neural foramina stenosis.

C3-4: Mild right neural foramina stenosis secondary to facet and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy. No significant spinal canal or left neural foramina stenosis.

C4-5: Mild bilateral neural foramina stenosis secondary to facet and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy. No significant spinal canal stenosis.

C5-6: Mild bilateral neural foramina stenosis secondary to facet and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy. No significant spinal canal stenosis.

C6-7: Mild bilateral neural foramina stenosis secondary to facet and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy. No significant spinal canal stenosis.

C7-T1: No significant spinal canal or neural foramina stenosis.

SOFT TISSUES: Unremarkable.

Component Results

 

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What Sam said and also, in general, don't put a lot of stock in spine imaging.

 

There are a number of good studies where the imaging of completely asymptomatic people, in one instance world-class athletes, was given in a blinded fashion to radiologists and orthopedists who frequently diagnosed a number of disc and alignment issues based on the imaging...the take home story being that a lot of things that appear to be a problem on an x-ray or MRI don't actually amount to problems IRL.

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2 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

That is a largely normal and unremarkable result...pretty sure my MRIs have come out basically the same. Mild loss of space (AKA disk compression and/or mild arthritis).

 

You are near 40, yeah?

46, yep.  

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53 minutes ago, AlwaysForward said:

Hmmm, some what reassuring but the pain I am in is redicuous.  Could it be as simple as the loss of curve oressing the disks?  

 

If it were disk spacing, I'd think that traction would help. Have you ever tried it? (I assume 'yes'), and if so, did it help?

 

Loss of curve is largely a function of low back curvature and poor overall posture. 

 

I wish I thought there was an answer in your report, but I don't see(read) anything damning. Those are largely normal for your age.

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44 minutes ago, Emperor G_D said:

 

If it were disk spacing, I'd think that traction would help. Have you ever tried it? (I assume 'yes'), and if so, did it help?

 

Loss of curve is largely a function of low back curvature and poor overall posture. 

 

I wish I thought there was an answer in your report, but I don't see(read) anything damning. Those are largely normal for your age.

That isn't terrible news really.  I've been through a few different doctors and found what that does shot treatments which is all fairly standard.  I think cutting the gluten is still a good idea.  Here is the thing, years ago they found the loss of curve in the lumbar.  My old man has been through multiple sugeries and fushions.  My brother is a mess as well.  The spasms have no real trigger anymore except for stress and weather.  Its likely the muscles are all weak as well.  I go the 24th to make sure the doctor doesnt see anything the lab did not.  If I can rehab and train knowing I am not doing damage to a blow disc I think like you said, there are things that can help the spacing and posture issues.  

 

I have had traction.  I have a home one know that works more in a curve as opposed to straight traction which might not be the best with a straight spine.  

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Here's an example of the cervical curve changing in response to lumbar curve changes: 

 

 

So, lumbar changes preceding cervical changes are not a shock at all. In fact, overcompensation due to lumbar changes and cervical changes leads to all sorts of fucked up shit, like spasms and whatnot. My upper erectors lately are quite fucked up and the pain at times is approaching what I consider "chronic pain". But I digress...

 

You have a pain-centric back, and come from a family of pain-centric folks. Keep seeking a solution, and hopefully you find something that works better in the mid and long-term.

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Gluten avoidance has proven less the panacea than it promises, but if you feel you are sensitive to it, and derive a benefit, then that's a win. My biggest concern with gluten elimination is the potential sensitivity to gluten that can result from falling off the 'GF wagon'. 

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10 hours ago, AlwaysForward said:

Could it be as simple as the loss of curve oressing the disks? 

 

More likely that the issue is muscular and not related to the spine at all. I've got what they call a "military neck" with almost no curve but it doesn't cause me any issues.

 

Neck and shoulder pain can have unexpected roots. I had nearly constant pain/tension in my neck and right shoulder for months that I finally traced back to a change in boot brand that I was wearing for work. I went back to my old brand and the pain vanished in two days.

 

I also wouldn't discount stress here. Are you familiar with John Sarno's work regarding back pain and psychosomatic etiology?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446392308

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Right, I guess with Gluten, you dont know until you try I guess.  

 

 

I was familiar with that book but never read it.  The pain (even from just posting here over the years) gets pretty extreme.  I mean how many times have I stopped training now?  Now its there, along with headaches, multiple times a week.  The muscle part makes sense.  The trigger does not unless it some weird fibromyalgia.  The traps and neck get so sore and spasmed all I can do it ice it.  Pain pills don't do anything.  I guess that why in your head, you expect something is majorly wrong.  I want to train, it makes me feel normal and helps all the other nonsense (anxiety, etc).  If I knew it was a matter of working back with 5 pd dumbbells, I would just do that but the pain after is crippling.  

 

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Don't get too excited about cervical lordosis or lack thereof.

 

In a recent large meta-analysis of 15k asymptomatic people from 21 different studies, about a third had no cervical lordosis....(PMID: 29907118) so the presence or absence of lordosis is unlikely to be the cause of your pain.

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So after an obnoxious amount of doctors, physical therapy and etc, I finally got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  My father and brother largely have the same issue.  My father has been through 100 surgeries and they cant figure out why hes in so much pain.  Anyway, this particular doctor told me the stenosis I have is mild but because of the Fibro, for me the pain is a 10.  At this point I am still not medicating and hope to start a program soon.

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4 hours ago, STENDEC said:

Good to have a dx although fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to manage successfully. What's your plan of attack?

It's been quite awhile now.  I've gone through the pill game with little success.  I had on my list to get a medical card as I think throughout life, stress is a major trigger.  So my plan at this point is to start a walking plan, 5 minutes a day building up to an hour, some stretching and weights but nothing crazy. 

 

I'm doing IF now but honestly, weather and stress are the huge things as opposed to lifting/not lifting, diet or any of these other things.  I really think I can manage with CBD, THC and less stress.  I changed bosses recently and the change in the way I felt was unreal.  When I went to therapy a few years ago now, they initially diax was anxiety but later told me I had PTSD from pain and stress.  

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10 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

It's amazing what issues stress is ultimately the cause of.

Yeah man, if you look back at my post history.  It slaps you right in the face.  There are many personal choices we make, jobs, marriages and they can all lead to leading the wrong life. Your body hears everything you mind is thinking.  That said, we work so hard to get to a certain place, its hard to walk away.  

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Your "case" has always interested me. You and I sound like maybe we're very similar in temperament, and possibly even have several of the same issues. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest I have fibro, but I definitely have a lot of unresolved/unresolving/unfixable pain, and no doubt much of that was made worse by my choice to be a [fat] powerlifter. 

 

My anxiety issues are all very tied to physical pain or sensation. So if I hurt, I'm likely to be stressed, and my stress is likely to drive my physical pain, which makes me more stressed. 

 

Keep working on yourself and I hope your card helps you. I find that I can be really stressed out for a period after smoking, and you have to be careful with dosing if oral (that shit can sneak up on you and hit you like a ton of bricks).

 

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1 minute ago, STENDEC said:

Sam do you get pain relief from weed?

 

TBH, I've shied away from cannabis for the fact that it seems to be anxiogenic. Many believers tell me that I have to find the right strain...but that seems like a lot of work and money, so I haven't really found that right combination.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Emperor G_D said:

 

TBH, I've shied away from cannabis for the fact that it seems to be anxiogenic. Many believers tell me that I have to find the right strain...but that seems like a lot of work and money, so I haven't really found that right combination.

 

 

There are so many strains which is where a card can help. It also depends what type of anxiety you have.  I am not activily smoking now but had a long history, ironically, when I stopped that is when it started to bother my nerves but stress is also a factor.  I know people who swear CBD makes them anxious but again, depends on if its and isolate, full or broad spectrum.  For anxiety, I would start there.

 

Remember too, a lot of people who try smoking or CBD have also been on some kind of pill half their lives.  For pain though, especially my kind of severe chronic pain, you need the THC.  You can balance it out like Bensen said with different strains.  Some contain more CBD than THC but CBD first for sure.  I have been using FUll spectrum CBD for some time but if you never smoked, you need to build up to a usfull dose.  

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