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Spinal canal stenosis
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The spinal cord is the part of the nervous system that relays messages to and from the brain. Discuss topics including spinal stenosis, spinal cord injury or damage and treatment methods.

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Spinal canal stenosis

I am 60 and living in rural Japan. Two months ago I suddenly found it difficult to walk long distances. I had noticed symptom of a pulling between right knee and lower back for about a year prior--mostly on waking--I sleep on my side--as well as arthritic feelings (tightness when initially walking after sitting a long time). But I still could walk long distances and ride my bike. What triggered the walking difficulty was when I tried to pick up my cat carrier with one hand. It got worse over the course of a week, and then I could not move at all upon rising from the toilet.

 In hospital 2 weeks....too much bed rest, but I was scared and the MRI room was booked until the 6th day. Diagnosis was moderate lumbar spine stenosis...no mention of herniated disk...just Inteverterbral disk generation.  8 years ago i fell backward...leaving a dent in my posterior..and after walking on one side to avoid pain, I developed a herniated disk.  PT then --extension stuff-- helped.  Not sure if relatedto the canal stenosis. I also have mild numbness at times from cervical spine spondylosis, but usually a symptomatic. Especially with moderate exercise.

Hospital this time judged stenosis not severe, and the rehabilitation of assisted walking in hospital was not continued as my case did not warrant it.  I felt it very useful, maybe essential, and  I had to find another hospital doing PT at its sports rehab center on my own. Lots of massage and manipulation, flexing stuff. I can walk fairly well now, though there is a burning sensation between right knee and thigh. PT says I also have lots of muscle tightness, and also right leg muscles have shrunk, contributing to tightness in the right leg. He does therapy every two days 3 times a week since sometimes therapy induces a bit of pain, and the muscles need to rest. He says the  pulling of the muscles on the lumbar spine should decrease over time with strength and endurance.   Some of the stretching of the hamstrings, etc. can be painful in a good sort of way, but when it is in the lower back, fear takes over. This is common within 24 hours of therapy or even walking a lot, so I try to not overdue walking. A bit confusing as to how active I should/can be.

Pain is not severe, but fear of recurrence (being unable to move or walk) comes whenever I have any. It can be a twinge after sitting on a too low stool, or especially within 24 hours of a therapy session.  To tell the truth, most meds seem not to help the pain, which comes in spurts and jabs rather than being constant.  I was able to start a Part time teaching position that involves a 3 hour train ride both ways..overnight at the sight. But anxiety and some depression comes at times..fear of recurrence and fear I won't be able to finish the semester, though objectively, it has been overall a healing situation.  A month and a half ago I could not walk for long, now I can, albeit with stiffness and occasional pain....I will make an appointment with a psychiatrist soon about the anxiety but was wondering--if this was developing over time and the heavy lifting triggered the severe first few days prior to hospitalization, why does it not get better to the state it was before lifting my cat? 

Meds I am taking, all related to pain symptoms:

1 Neurotropin 4 NU tabs x2 am and pm. Presumably for burning sensation in leg.

2 celcoxib 100 mg am and pm

3  Alfadex 5ug tabs x 1 3 times a day --Japanese name is purorenaru. In hospital had IV  drip of alprostadil, similar effect. Presumably to get more blood into the narrowed canal.

The dr also gave me etizolam for when I have the most anxiety...work days.  I start my 3rd week tomorrow. Knock on wood.

Rehabilitation hospital doctor suggests gradually discontinuing all or most pain meds, says all 3 not needed. Dr affiliated with first hospital said since I am so nervous about my condition I could keep taking all 3 at least until the weather warms up.Then stop until the winter.  

I am worried about taking unnecessary drugs but more worried that I will have a relapse if I stop. I wonder if this is a misunderstanding on my part on what the drugs do. All agree that rehab and not resting too much are useful, but I do fear any little pain that comes. (  I also take a blood  pressure med blopress, Lipitor and Bayaspirin, plus singular and Flotide.)

Would love to hear your perspective on the PT and pain meds mentioned. Thank you.  (medical professionals only, not interested in patient to patient advice).
3 Comments Post a Comment
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620923_tn?1416285879

  Hi and welcome to the Spinal Cord C/D forum.

I am so sorry u r not getting better or the help u feel u need....I am not sure what ur question is.....

I also have spinal stinosis and bulging disks and this can create problems such as CSF obstruction, compression of the nerves....these 2 things can in turn cause pain,numbness, and weakness....PT may help short term, but if it is a bulging disk u may have to alter how u bend and lift as that can trigger a flare,....

Not being a medical professional, I do not think I can offer much more.

I wish u all the best,
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you very much for your message. dr did respond in orthopedic forum.
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620923_tn?1416285879

  Very good I hope the info was helpful : )
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