i have just been diagnosed with spondylosis c5-c6 L5 - S1

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Hi I have just been diagnosed and was wondering if anyone could tell me what exactly it is please? I have suffered with chronic pain for years due to injuries torn cartilage in my knees, nerve damage and now it's painful to move my left arm and walking and turning over in bed is excruciating.

What can I do to ease this dreadful pain? Any ideas?

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  • Posted

    Your spine is divided into sections. C represents cervical. The numbers correlate to the vertebrae. You have seven cervical vertebrae. C5 and C6 are two of the cervical vertebra responsible for innervating the arms. In your case it is the left side nerve roots which come off of the spinal cord that are being compressed as the vertebrae deteriorate. The compression can cause tingling, pins and needles, numbness, or burning.

    Another section of your spine is the lumbar (1 to 5) followed by the sacrum which is comprised of 3-5 fused together vertebrae. The L5 to S1 inflammation accounts for your difficulty turning over.

    Anklyosing Spondylosis is the name of the disease effecting the stability of your spine. In some cases this type of arthritis can effect other joints as well. It is possible to have more than one type of arthritis.

    Over time ankylosing spondylosis can cause some of the vertebrae in your spine to fuse together which makes the spine less flexible. This fusing can result in a hunched-forward posture. If ribs are affected, it can become difficult to breathe deeply.

    The pain you are feeling is a symptom of the disease. Treatment is addressed at controlling the pain, reducing the inflammation, and preventing deformity of the bones.

    For this reason it is imperative that you follow with the most highly educated rheumatologist available. Look for an esteemed university with an associated medical school that offers a hospital and clinics. This is where you will receive state of the art treatment.

    Several medications are available, so if one does not help, another will. Your rheumatologist wi be choosing from meications that reduce inflammation such as steroids or NSAIDs, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Narcotics and analgesics can be used for temporary pain control. And DMARDs & Biologics, disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs that literally alter disease.

    This is a lot for you to absorb. Ask me any question. I will do my best to give you an understandable response.

    Items which may help you before your rheumatology visit:

    heating pad

    gel packs, frozen...try Amazon or a pharmcy

    acetaminophen 500-1000 mg dosed every six hours, no closer to avoid liver damage.

    Who gave you your results...can that person prescribe?

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    • Posted

      Great answer could not of said it better! Hope this helps. My only suggestion is to try and avoid surgery! Use all the advice above and you can also try meditation, yoga, acupuncture as these may help relive some symptoms that are associated with chronic pain like lack of sleep, anxiety etc! Best of luck to you. Make sure you have a board certified Neurologist! 
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    • Posted

      Hi there. Thank you so very much. The diagnosis was sent in a letter dated 10th November but it was sent by my physio after seeing her last Thursday 8th December. Spoke with my neurologist secretary yesterday who just advised me to go a&e on the days that I can't move or are at their worst. Not seeing neurologist until March 17. Currently on 3000mg gabapentin 25mg fentanyl patches and Co codamol or tramadol or paracetamol on my worst days. This has been going on for years but just only recently did the gp agree to send me for a neurologist opinion after she was worried I was having a tia. Still pins and needles and dead right arm. Top left arm too painful to lift.

      I have had better explanations Hete in the last 24 hours than I have from any Dr I have seen as I also have chronic anterior knee pain in my right knee, horizontal tear in my cartilage in my left knee, meniscus maltracking in my right knee and anxiety and depression.

      From the bottom of my heart I thank you for explaining this to me. I hope you have a great Christmas xx

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    • Posted


      you are so welcome...I could have screamed when I read, March 17!

      Dead arm and pins and needles with your diagnosis should warrant a visit with a spinal orthopedic specialist.

      Call your gp and ask...dead nerves warrant immediate intervention. The spinal specialist and the neurologist need to work together.

      See that envelope by my name, you may private message anytime.

      Additionally, you need rheumatologist and a knee specialist. The knee could also be ankylosing spondylosis or a different type of arthritis. You need your knees so that you can hold your back. Are you employed? I hope not because right now you need to rest, relax, and take it easy.

      big warm hug, you have a great Christmas too!

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  • Posted

    excellent additions...I have used acupuncture.

    For sleep consider melatonin which our body naturally releases in preparation for sleep. This natural release is inhibited by all of out lights and screens. My neurologist has me take melatonin 3 mg two hours before bedtime. If you can, allow your body to sleep as long as it wants to.

    warm hugs


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  • Posted


    Glad to hear this site has helped you. I am on Gabapentin and pain patch.I also take Naproxen instead of Co codamol or paracetamol or tramado.

    Whatever works for you.

    Best wishes,


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