Cervical stenosis and osteoporosis

Posted , 8 users are following.

The headaches from the c/s are terrible, it starts at both temples and goes into my eyes .My neck is so stiff,

I walk a fine line everyday trying not to make the pain worse. My quality of life has gone from a very sporty type guy to a couch potato, or lying in bed with heating pads on. I don't sleep well, have become depressed , can't work, I'm 51yo and I feel like I'm 90. I have osteoporosis quite bad in my left hip and lower back. Also degenerative disc disease in my bsck and neck. I saw the specialist today at our top rated spinal chord unit , I've been there many times before due to another spinal condition., Scheurmans disease . Google . It's rare and gives me lots of lower back pain and there nothing they can do because of the degenerative disc disease. Now I just found out I have c/s and with a fall or fender bender I could be paralyzed . I've been referred to the top specialist that deals with cervical stenosis and other beck/ spinal conditions . Does anybody have any insight or give me some hope. The doctor today thought I was not a candidate for surgery due to my osteoporosis, I now wait 6 weeks to find out what the top dog has to say. I feel lost and scared, life as I knew it has disappeared. I no longer feel part of the real world , im on disability and in today's money hungry world irs hard to survive . I live in Vancouver Canada, can't survive on $1100 per month when my rent is more than that. I had to sell condo, my savings are drying up , where will I live in 10 years . Without your health life is not mind, money can't buy you happiness. Anybody else hsve any advice or input ? I'm not giving up , I'm a fighter but some days it does get to you . I can't remember the last time I had a pain free day . Am i alone??

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi,

    No, your not alone. I had an accident in 2011, it took until mid 2013 to find I had c/s. Meantime I lost my business and credit worthiness.

    Today at 67 if I fall or slip I would be paralysed from the neck down. No option for surgery as it would mean full fusion of cervical spine.

    What meds are you on, you should have a pain control pathway.

    Mike.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike.. ..thank you very much for replying. Sounds like we are in similar situations. I've had a very bad back for years which has given me lots of problems and now I have this new diagnosis. I've been have g a stiff neck and mild pain which myself and the doctors put down to my back . I had a MRI a month ago and my found out I have c/s. For my back I take oxycodone, celebrex, cyclobenzeprine,( muscle relaxant) . I just started taking oxycodone for my back a few months ago. Before that I was on tramadol .

      They have left me on this medication until I see the neck specialist. (4-6 weeks wait). I go to the spinal chord unit in Vancouver which is highly thought of. I've been treated well there with my back. I was there on Thursday to see my usual specialist about my back too and he has put an urgent referral in to this other specialist for my neck . He was quite shocked when saw the MRI results. I have to be very careful not to fall or slip in the shower. I could be paralyzed from the neck down like yourself. He doesn't think I can hsve surgery due to my osteoporosis. And degenerative disc disease.

      What about yourself Mike. What meds are you on ? How's is your pain and / or symptoms ..

      Again thanks for replying I feel so lost right now and I'm just 51. Life sure isn't the same anymore.

      Also financially I'm ruined being on disability with my back for 5 years now and now this .

      Keep in touch please and let me know how your doing .

      Cheers...Peter

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  • Posted

    Hi Peeeeter,

    Your message has reminded me of my own head and face pains during my attack of what I believe is cervical spondylosis. I tend to forget that part and only remember the waves of pain in my neck and upper body. In fact I was only semi-conscious during the event, which lasted until they got me to Emergency at the health centre and injected pain killer and something to calm me down. 

    It's been about two weeks and I have been back in the pool (just a short visit) and mountaineering in the Picos de Europa without a recurrence. I am 79 and I feel really good at present. Here's some advice:

    - consider moving out of the city to a cheaper housing location.

    - listen often to your favorite music, it helps to stir the soul

    - look for a group. Social contact will help you to build mental strength

    - check out the latest medication for headaches. I believe it has recently improved.

    Hope this helps,

    colinac

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  • Posted

    Cervical mylopathy support group a.c. df joint and muscle complaints....page on facebook is full of like minded people with lots of advice and support
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  • Posted

    Hi Peeeeter,

    Glad your getting sorted quickly. Different people experience email differing pain symptoms with c/s.

    Mine started with a twinge in my left shoulder-then tingling in whole arm,hands and fingers. Then bit of a pain in base of neck then over to right shoulder. Then it came at me like a perfect storm- absolute agonising pain in both arms and shoulders across the base and upper neck and deep into shoulder blades. All this time I was only on over counter medicines, I had mixed advise from various practitioners including rest up-don't rest up, take it easy for a couple of weeks-stop acting like a baby and work through the pain. Eventually I was put on tramadol, no help whatever. I visited my surgery and saw another gp and sat down and burst into tears. I was a blithering wreck, I was only sleeping 3-4 hours a night, upright in a chair and the pain was mind numbing. Luckily she put me on amatriptalene naproxen and morphine pain patch. What a relief for the first time in about 13 months I had complete sleep.

    No one theses days should be in absolute pain.

    Mike.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Mike. Your description fits my single mind-numbing attack a few weeks ago. I am in a small town in northern Spain and nearly 80. I managed to get myself out of the city pool (where I was doing a few laps of butterfly) and then collapsed on the grass outside. Couldn't walk, talk or think. Someone called for an ambulance and they got me on a stretcher. At the local emergency ward they gave me an ECG (total waste of time in my case) and, after that, painkiller and diazepam shots. A little later I was able to sit up and shuffle home (400 metres) with help. Small towns have lots of advantages.

      Shock was an important part of what happened. I had no experience or third-party knowledge of what happened. It came as a complete surprise. Your label was cervical stenosis. It helps to put a name to it. My GP is a bit out of date perhaps. When I saw him a few days later he didn't have a specific diagnosis but he said I had to live with it. He would consider an  operation if it became much worse, ie, unable to use an arm. Personally, I think it will not reoccur if I avoid butterfly and breaststroke, which stress my neck. I swam a few days later and did a 1000-metre climb in the nearby mountains - all without problem.

      Thank you again. 

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  • Posted

    No you are not! I am in the US but almost exactly in the same boat as you. It is horrible and no one understands. They see me and think I look fine, if they only knew. I know exactly how you feel like you lost your identity. I had severe PTSD after I lost my job as it was everything to me. I feel so alone so groups like this are great. Did they talk to you about disc replacement? I try to check and usually have no messages so sorry this is so late. I have had a hard month.  Hang in there. 
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  • Posted

    I am so confused by this.  You sound like a candidate for surgery if I ever heard one. Even a full cervical fusion is better then living life constantly fearful of paralysis from a simple fall.  Id see a better doctor ASAP 
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Glad to hear your u up and about okay. For your age you are an example to us all.

    However, could I please leave a cautionary word as to your exercise regime.

    About 11 months after my c/s started to affect me I actually self paralysed my left of face and whole left shoulder , arm and hand. I had lifted my left arm above head hight to replace a curtain hook onto the track. Suddenly an electric shock travelled up my shoulder, along the collar bone area and up my neck to just below my left ear. Total paralysis ( not just numb) but dead.. Luckily, according to my neurosurgeon, I was able to cradle the arm with my right arm and gently move it around until about 3 minutes later feeling returned. I should have been permanently paralysed but somehow I didn't panic and this helped me.

    Please take it easy,

    Best wishes,

    Mike.

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  • Posted

    Great to find this support group . Describing many of thd symptoms I am having...stiff neck, freezed and painful shoulders muscle... Headache that goes into eyes...

    I am going to do two things to see if it can relief the pain

    1/ go to the pool to swim for 45 mins after work everyday

    2/ placing a 3 inch diameter foam roll under my neck during sleep.

    Will update you guys again if I make any progress !

    C/S really sucks .

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    • Posted

      Hi Peteer,

       I also have a very stiff neck and, in the past, have had tingling/numbness in my hands, feet, burning, loss of appetite you name it. , 

      I saw about 10 different doctors, had MRI, EMG, etc.  and ultimately found the best relief from getting therapeutic massages.  Surprisingly, both massage therapists and chiropractors seem to know way more about these things than spine doctors even.  You can also find a ton on youtube about all sorts of neck and back pain issues - it's really common.  

      There are medications but also some homeopathic that may help (5HTP, Tumeric).  

      I found working on my core strength, posture exercises, and taking frequent breaks from my typical desk job really has helped.  Also had to change sleeping position to be back only (or just occasionally side  - I was previously a stomach sleeper).  

      Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Don't   mean to  hijack this posters space.

    I went to my gp and told her, accurately, what my neurosurgeon had told me before closing his file on me. My gp had received his notes and thankfully  our accounts matched. He would operate on me as a last resort but did not recommend it at the moment because or severe restriction of my neck. He also commented that I had no reflexes in my legs but would not put my c/s problems together with my leg problems.

    I now have to get another appointment with another surgeon to find out what is causing my legs problems. I will bet that it is down to my c/so as I also suffer with bowel and bladder  problems already associated with my c/so. 

    I will keep you informed.

    Mike.

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  • Posted

    I understand what you are going through. It is like losing your life. Do you have family that could help you? I live in the US things are different here so don’t have any advice except don’t give up. Don’t have surgery it won’t help or it didn’t help me nor anyone I know in my support group. Good luck I feel for you! Nancy
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  • Posted

    I disagree with your doctor your cervical spine controls many of your nerves as I have severe leg pain too. They diagnosed it at first as peripheral neuropathy but I am not diabetic, non drinker, I don’t fit into the category of neuropathy so not sure that is what I have. I also have lower lumbar problems so I would say my whole spine is pretty messed up. Go look up charts I posted one on here that shows what each level can cause. Doctors are not always correct. I know how frustrated you feel as we know our own bodies. Be your own advocate and don’t do anything without talking to other people who have gone through it. Hang in there Peter! 
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