Multiple herniated discs
Hi. I have posted on some other boards about some complex medical issues I have. Have just found out some new information which has made me consider things from a different perspective. would welcome any insight from others.
Specifically, I was found to have 2 herniated discs in my lumbar spine 2 months ago. These are impingeing on the L4 nerve root causing considerable pain and mobility issues.
A few weeks after this started I awoke one morning to find my neck was painful. Initial physiotherapy resolved the acute phase but I am left with reduced mobility and pain. I have had a CT done today and found I have a further two herniations at C5/6 and C6/7. These herniations are in a posterocentral position and contacting the anterior cord margin. Minor canal stenosis.
I would like to know if any others have experienced multiple disc herniations all at the same time with no known accident or injury to cause it. It may very well be that these discs herniations have been there for quite some time and only now showing symptoms. I am somewhat overwhelmed by the multiple issues I have. Could these disc herniations be the result of some underlying disease process other than normal degenerative changes?
Re: Multiple herniated discs
Probably not. It is common to have some degenerative changes in both areas of the spine. Almost everyone has some bulging discs by the time they reach a certain age. The aging process for the spine begins in our twenties. The discs, which are mostly comprised of "water," gradually begin to lose moisture and to dry out. With every day living, the wear and tear on the discs begins to take a toll. Many people have bulging discs for years and never have a symptom, so are unaware of the problem.
Sometimes bulging discs are discovered when a MRI is done for another purpose. This is how I discovered I have two cervical segments that fused together naturally without causing a single moment of neck pain. I was completely unaware of this.
[B]These are impinging on the L4 nerve root causing considerable pain and mobility issues.[/B]
Almost always when we have a painful disc problem, it affects the way we walk, sit, hold our body, etc. This has a direct impact on structural alignment of the spine. It may be that your gait has changed due to compensating for the painful disc. This has probably thrown off your posture, leading to you carrying your head farther forward. This would have an effect on all the ligaments, etc. Even a subtle shift in position can cause some nerve pain....I'm thinking you have had the disc bulges for awhile but they are just now becoming symptomatic.
Unless you have some underlying auto-immune issue that is causing the discs to deteriorate, etc. I think it likely that this is not caused by your other issues. That would be my guess. Hopefully your doctor can figure it all out for you!
Re: Multiple herniated discs
Thanks. I have been doing some further research and I think you may be right in suggesting that the disc herniations (they are actually herniated not just bulged) have been around for some time. I have other bulging disc but I am ignoring that for the moment. What I am seeing as the main factor is the lumbar herniations are impingeing on nerves and the cervical herniations on the spinal cord. I have already been diagnosed with radiculopathy and I am suspecting now (with the recent news of the cervical herniations) that I may have myelopathy. Hence the reason who for 2 years I have had difficult with walking. The best way to describe it is that I feel unstable. I often have to hold on to things when standing up from a chair or getting up from bed in the mornings. It takes a while to get my balance. Stairs are a challenge, as is squatting, kneeling and getting up from these positions. When I do partake in these activities I am generally in pain, limping and unbalanced for several hours. My current situation is that I can do activity for maybe 10 minutes and then i need to rest before doing more activity. With a young family and at the age of 43 this is not an ideal situation. I am under an orthopaedic surgeon for foot and ankle injury and need to have surgery for this. I have no idea how the injuries came about and I am wondering if the longstanding spinal issues may have put extra strain on these areas and caused the injury to my feet and ankles. Just a theory... but I am wondering? I want to start a long-term, regular course of traction therapy to see if this can resolve the spinal compression/nerve issues. The thought of any spinal surgery makes me feel physically ill !
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