Back/Neck pain pain

I am new here, I've had back problems since my 20's when I was in a bad car accident. I've had an MRI on my back every few years due to pain and they all came back as mild degenerative issues, and bulging discs. I've done years of PT and it seems to work for a bit, then the pain comes back. My DR. just had me do a neck & back MRI last week, got the results in the mail. I am scared, because findings for my back & neck don't look good. I am hoping that surgery won't be needed. I will list below the impressions, I am hoping others have the same issues I do? 

Thank You,

Spine Cervical Impression ~ Multilevel degenerative changes from C3-C4 to C6-C7 , most advanced at C4-C5 & C5-C6 levels with moderate spinal canal & bilateral neural foraminal stenosis & mild remodeling of ventral cord without abnormal cord signal.

Spine Lumbar Impressions~ Multilevel degenerative changes are most advanced at the L5-S1 level where there is severe loss of disc height. Facet arthropathy and a disc bulge at this level results in bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. 


  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340


    First, welcome to the forums.

    No one on the Spine-Health patient forums is medically qualified to provide any advice or
    or recommendations on any diagnostic test. However, the following key words can always be applied.

    1. MILD Treated with conservative measures such as Physical Therapy and mild medications. Many times these situations can be cleared up and the condition can be resolved.
    2. MODERATE Some more treatments may be needed, ie Spinal Injections, Ultra sound and stronger medications. Always a possibility of more aggressive treatment if the conservative measures don't help
    3. SEVERE Need for stronger medications. The requirement for surgery may be necessary

    What we can discuss is shared symptoms.  So tell us more about your symptoms.

  • I have severe lower back pain, leg pain & neck/shoulder pain.. I was just hoping that there was someone out there who can share their experience with pain and symptoms. 

    Thank you!
  • advertisement
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,340

    No pain, numbness or tingling in your arms?  I would have bet on that.

    Your challenge is going to be that you seem to have both cervical and lumbar problems.  When do you see your doctor to discuss the MRI? What kind of doctor? Have you seen any spine specialists?

    I only had cervical, which included stenosis. The cervical stenosis lead to pain in my pelvis, legs and feet.

  • I too had a bad accident in my 20's but I just tried to live with it. Then I could not ignore the pain anymore. 

    I had low back pain that would come & go then I had pain in my abdomen. They even did a exploritory surgery to see what was causing it. Not long after this my left leg started hurting. Was ordered an MRI & found out my lumbar had 1 herniated disc & 1 bulging disc. Found just recently by my infectious disease doctor that the pain in my abdomen is referred pain from my spine.

    Then I would get random pain in my wrists. They assumed it was carpet tunnel. Then my neck hurt bad one day. Really bad. So I was ordered PT. It got worse quickly. Pain down arms,wrists,fingers, & wouldn't let up. Had an xray which showed lordosis. I asked for an MRI knowing this could be bad. It was. From C3-T1 I have herniated discs,spinal stenosis, facet disease, discs bulging,and spurs. My pain gets crazy.

    I have a body that is hypersensitive it seems. My neck affects my lower back/legs. I can't look down without pain on/in my left foot. Every epidural I have makes it hurt,supposedly showing that it's working but according to my MRI,my herniated disc in L4-5 is pushing to the right. I rarely get pain on my right. 

    I've had 2 injections since January for my neck & neither lasts long but again, odd things happen. It lessons my sciatic pain down my left leg when I get it in my neck. My PT says it could be from the stenosis. My herniated discs in my neck are pushing to the left. I get pain in the left side that's unbelievable. It goes throughout my whole arm down to the fingers. I get pain in my ears,back of my skull,up to the top of my head. I also get pain down my right arm which perplexes some doctors. Supposedly I shouldn't be having it down to my fingers on this side. Other doctors say I need a nerve ablation for the facets. 

    One thing I've learned is no one's body is the same as another's. If you have pain do not allow anyone to discredit you & you need to be your biggest advocate. You may find shut doors but to me that means there's an open window with someone else. The environment is quite different these days from when I first had pain. But there are doctors who still care & want to help. Navigating to that point is challenging. 

    Hope you can get the help you need. Sorry I can't help you decifer your report but I know you shouldn't wait around. If you would need surgery it can take a while to get the ball rolling if it's not an emergency. 

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM
    hello jenmiele17 !
    Welcome to Veritas Health Forumplease click on link for helpful information!
  • advertisement
  • I have an appointment with a Surgeon next month, I have had injections in the past, but they never worked. I do have numbness and tingling mostly in my right hand, feels like it's constantly falling asleep. I am just wondering if they would do surgery in neck or back if I do need surgery. I also have arthritis in my back & legs. Thanks for replying everyone, just nervous about what the outcome might be.
  • Also, one hip is higher than the other, will find out what to do about that next month also.
  • Bluegirl13BBluegirl13 Quincy, ILPosts: 2
    I was diagnosed with mild degenerative changes in my lumbar spine back in 2013. Just last year the Dr. found some degeneration in my neck. I was never in any accidents just sitting on a poorly cushioned couch one day and a major nerve in my lower back got pinched so badly i had to walk with a cane for a little bit. Countless hours of chiropractors and pain medications. There's degeneration on my mom's side of the family. Her and all three of my aunts have new hips and some are on their way to new knees. The only thing i can do is exercise and physical therapy. Im nervous ill need surgery or a wheelchair when im older. I try to keep my head up and push forward. You're not alone. 
  • LarnersourLLarnersour Los Angeles, CAPosts: 52
    Oh, I still don't know what to do with my mother's conditions, she has this back pain for almost 10 years and we are trying to do our best to help her, i really hope that soon we'll so it! Good luck you!
Sign In or Join Us to comment.