I have been having constant neck and back pain for quite some time. I was sent to have xrays and was told that I had 3 bulging discs in my neck, one of which that was pressing on my spine and causing the pain. I was then sent to have an mri.
I have been trying to look information up online to figure out exactly what the results from my mri mean but had no luck. I was also wondering what possible treatments their could be.
Findings: AP, lateral, bilateral oblique, and odontoid views of the cervical spine show straightening of the cervical lordosis with mild gentle kyphosis centered at the C5-6 level. There is a suggestion of mild widening of the posterior disc space at the C5-6 level. No fracture or subluxation is identified. No bony foranimal stenosis or preverebral soft tissue swelling. Normal relationships are seen of C1 and C2.
this sounds like a postural problem to me.. are you hunched over the computer alot? also, i dont see how anyone can tell you that you have budging discs BEFORE an MRI was taken. That makes no sense at all. and then on top of that there is no mention of this problem on the MRI report.......hmmmmnn. neck and upper back pain with such a benign report tells me you've got muscle spasm/muscle imbalance issues in and around your neck.
well it is possible that they told me about the 3 buldging discs after the mri... it's hard to remember because I had the xray and mri done close together. But I too also noticed that there was no mention of the buldging disc on the mri results so I'm not sure where the doctor got that from...
I actually do work in an office, so I've been at the computer for 5+ years.
your MRI makes no mention of any disc problems at all. straightening of the lordosis means straightening of the natural curve of the neck vertebrae-- it does not mean much. the constant neck and back pain does not seem to be coming from your spine. therefore by default it pretty much has to be due to the postural nature of the muscles in the neck and upper back. you should see a good PT familiar with this syndrome of pain which is very common. the scalenes in your neck and the scms and the upper traps are probably tight, short, and in spasm and you probably have weak scapular muscles/lngitudinal muscles of the spine, rhomboids and other mid back muscles. All this comes from a hunched over rounded posture. the solution is alot of work but pretty simple. Your PT should be able to help you.
I'm actually being sent to see a neurologist by my doctor. I was just extremely nervous as to what could be wrong since I couldn't find anything by searching online. I'm still not sure where the bulding discs came from possibly I didn't get all the paperwork with my mri results. I thought the main reason I was being sent to see the neurologist was because of the discs b/c my doctor didn't mention anything else to me regarding my results. None the less I'm sure the neurologist will be able to look at my mri results and see himself.
Thank you for your help. I'm sure if bad posture could be the cause then that is very possible... I've been working at my office job since I was 16 and I'm certain I have had bad posture.... its hard not to when you sit at a desk 40 hours a week. I just figured it took longer for there to be an effect with severe pain (after all I am only 22). My doctor put me on some kind of 6 day steriod treatment which to my surprise helped a lot (not too much neck pain and not very many headaches) but the pain has been extreme since coming off the medication... I honestly forgot how bad it was for those 6 days. So I am anxious to figure out what could be wrong with me and how to fix it!! Hopefully it will not be anything major and simple. But again thank you for your help...
6 years IS a long time for your bad posture from sitting at a desk to turn into a pain syndrome. your story sounds so similar to mine. I too went on steroids for a week in the beginning and they helped immensely. They are very strong anti-inflammatories-- of course you will feel good !!! Just be careful not to go down the road I did-- I let doctors feed me pills and operate on me. It all failed and I was miserable till I read everything on a website by Jolie Bookspan. Then, within 4-5 months I was pain free. Bring my posts to your neurologist if you want. I'd be curious to see what he or she says. To me, your syndrome reeks of muscle spasm and a muscle imbalance pain syndrome--specifically something called Upper Crossed Syndrome (look it up on a website by Erik Dalton--his website is geared mainly towards his business of training therapists but search the site well and you will find it)). Remember--doctors are trained to give meds, operate, refer ,refer ,refer for test after test after test. Just be careful. I bet your neurologist never even heard of the syndrome I mentioned......
Also remember this-- buldging discs are extremely common. just because they may have been found on one of your imaging studies does NOT mean they are causing pain. An overwhelming majority of buldging discs (I would estimate over 99%) NEED NO TREATMENT AT ALL, for they are not responsible for any symptoms.
Mike I suggest you get a copy of the doctors notes from the radiologist and get a professional opinion. If you're unsure it is worth a second opinion. Don't be cheap with your health! Straightening of the cervical can be serious if there is DDD or DJD both degenerative disease that is progressive. It does not get better with PT. Before you go cheap get the right information. Sometimes it's asymptomatic. Sometimes it's there and there are no symptoms until it has went too far. Treat it early if you have it.
The lack of cervical spine curvature causes tension on the spinal cord and carotid arteries as they ascend into the brain to feed it oxygen and nutrients. This can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, tinnitus, pain, nervousness, insomnia, high blood pressure, and confusion, just to name a few.
hi mike. I myself have been having a lot of problems with my back neck and shoulders, I have many medical problems. I have in front of me a a note from a specialist saying I have straightening of normal cervical lordosis noted and there is minimal central disc bulging at c6/c7, what does this mean?
I'm not Mike, but this means that you have disc disease at the C6/C7 level of your cervical spine, and perhaps a corresponding spondylosis (osteoarthritis of the spine) if you've had this problem for a while.
Since the discs and facet joints maintain the balance and curvature of the spine, the disease in this area is causing your spine to tilt at this level. So, it cannot maintain a normal shape or curve.
In the cervical spine, they call that curve a lordosis. Same in the lumbar spine. Lordosis describes a bow shape where the center of the bow points foward, toward your Adam's apple. The curve in the thoracic or mid-spineis the opposite -- it bows towards the back. Doctors call this kyphosis.
Lordosis and kyphosis both describe the bowed shapes in the spine, as viewed from the side.
Abnormal curvature is just a sign -- it means nothing out of context. It may be causing muscular pain, but I imagine that the bulge and/or accompanying spondolytic changes may be causing most of your pain.
How did this come on? Was it from a fall or other trauma, or has this pain been developing slowly over time? Your doc will need this information to make a diagnosis.
In the neck, sometimes if you fix the disc, you may restore that curvature. But sometimes not, especially if this is a chronic degenerative disease. So get good advice. Don't run to the surgeon, but see multiple specialties before you make any major medical decisions, like the decision to have that disc removed.
I've lived with abnormal cervical (and lumbar) lordosis for over 30 years. I've managed the problem with different treatments, not surgery. Some day I may need to succumb to the knife, but I'm putting that off for as long as possible. Surgery is my end game; it's my treatment of last resort.
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