I'm a 37 year old male in relatively good health. About four years ago I was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis (bulging disc C5-C6) with mild stenosis. In 2008, I started experiencing lower back pain. After a couple of MRI's, I was subsequently diagnosed with isthimic spondylothesis (L5-S1) with moderate to severe stenosis. I have fairly constant upper and lower back pain and shoulder pain on a daily basis which I guess can be reasonably attributed to the spinal abnormalities. What concerns me though is that I experince achy pain and stiffness in both of my arms and legs along with the back pain. I also feel stiffness in my hands and fingers. Everything I've read about radiating pain from spine conditions is that they are normally felt in one arm or leg and not both. The constant pain feels like muscle tension and stiffness and feels like from the neck down my whole body is uncomfortable. I also experience tingling and feelings of pins and needles in my legs and feet and neck. I suffer from a great deal of stress and anxiety and I'm wondering if that is the reason why I feel such widespread and diffuse pain. Has anyone else with back problems experienced this, and if so do you notice your pain is worse during periods of stress? Also ,could this possibly be some form of fibromyalgia? Much of the information I've read about fibro points to widespread muscle pain in all four quadrants of the body with stress and anxiety being triggers. I plan on getting a second opinion from another orthropedic doctor this week. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
The symptoms you are having can be directly related to your degenerative changes in both your cervical and lumbar spine. The stenosis may be the primary cause of why you are experiencing escalating pain and sensory changes in your extremities.
Anxiety and stress only adds to the problem and can be a major trigger to your symptoms.
I don't think fibromyalgia is a possible diagnosis as it really is more of a "catch-all" for problems not otherwise explained from results of tests. You have definite problems with your spine and may also have had interval changes since your last MRI.
Hopefully you are taking some anti-anxiety medication to decrease your acute symptoms.
Much of the rest is adjusting and coping with the limitations imposed by moderately severe to severe chronic pain.
I think a second opinion is always justified and perhaps the new orthopedist can channel you into other treatment options.
Another option is to have an evaluation with a pain management specialist for a review of your medications and see if more aggressive intervention is indicated.
Post with an update and let us know how you are doing ----
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