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.
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