I am a 32 year old female and two weeks ago i woke up with pain in left side of my neck i thought maybe i had slept wrong or over the weekend during my spring cleaning i had pulled something. After two days the pain got worse and was only on my left side but was down my shoulder blade and the pain in my arm was unberable so i went to see my doctor. He said i probably just pulled something and call him if it got worse. By saturday it was so bad i was sick to my stomach and nothing seemed to help. (if i lay on my back flat i do have some releif). On Monday i went for a MRI. Friday i called the doc office to see if they had the report and told me no that i didnt need to call they would call me and that they dont give anything for pain. I finally called the imaging center on friday night where i had the MRI done and they told me that the report had been sent to my doc on wednesday so i went and got a copy. I have never had any test like this done but it seems my doc would call me when he received the results especially with the amout of pain i am in so this is what the report says and i dont know what it means or if i should be worried and stop any large amount of activity or keep doing what i am doing
THE REPORT READS
mild reversal of cervical lordosis
left-sided protrusion at c5-6 contacting and displacing thecal sac
disc appears to contact and causes flattneing of cervical cord on the left side
mild central canal narrowing is produced
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS MEANS AS SOON AS POSSOBLE AND IF I SHOULD BE
Welcome to the Back and Neck Community. Members are here to provide assistance and support to individuals experiencing symptoms related to possible abnormal conditions of the spine. Advice given is non-professional and is primarily based on personal experiences
Your MRI results do show some significant findings:
Cervical lordosis is the natural curve of the vertebrae of the cervical spine. Mild reversal is indicating that the curve is slightly altered and could be the result of muscle spasms.
The C5-C6 level has a protrusion (herniation) of the intervertebral disc (the cushion between the bones that helps with movement). As the intervertebral disc ages it can dry out and cause an opening of the annulus (protective covering) and cause disc material to push through and come in contact with the spinal root nerves. The protrusion in your neck is contacting the thecal sac (outer covering) of the spinal cord and altering its shape slightly. This in turn causes narrowing of the central canal (the opening through which the spinal cord travels). The contact with the cord is the probable source of your pain.
This is not necessarily a condition to cause alarm. Disc degeneration occurs as a normal process of the wear and tear as we age. Many individuals can have disc protrusions and not have any symptoms. The fact that your pain is increasing and has not been relieved for 2 weeks indicates the need for further treatment.
Make an appt with your primary care physician (or the doctor who ordered the MRI) and he will review the films in greater detail with you. He can then discuss treatment options with you. These could include anti-inflammatory meds, pain control and physical therapy.
A referral to an orthopedic spine specialist may be indicated.
Please post with an update and any additional questions/concerns you may have.
Best wishes -----
I am just so lost by not understanding the results and not hearing from my doctor. Your comment helps me understand the terms better. I guess any time you hear spinal cord it scares you. I also didnt metion that the pain is when i turn my head to the left and try to put my chin to chest when i do this there is a shooting pain that stops me about half way. So for two weeks I have not been able to even look to the left. Again though your response is very appreciated. It was nice to hear from someone!!!
You are most welcome! The inability to turn your head left or put your chin to your chest is probably due to muscle spasms associated with your mild cervical curvature and more intensely felt secondary to the cervical radiculopathy. Prior to my cervical spine surgery I jokingly said to my doctor that I would be content to make left turns only!
He was only slightly amused --- (My problems were mostly right-sided)
I hope that you have made contact with your doctor's office so you can pursue the appropriate recommended treatment.
Keep me posted ----
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