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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can consuming alcohol cause spinal stenosis?

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Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari

Spine Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 322 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 in Back Pain
Question: Can consuming alcohol cause stenosis to cause more pain?
What spurs on pain and what are the remedies. I have had to steroid shots in L-5
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Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 2 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing to us.
Alcohol does not cause spinal stenosis however it definitely changes the perception of the pain by brain. Alcohol has no effect on the spine but it acts on the brain.
Please elaborate on your problem so that I can help you better.
Why did you take steroid shots at L5? Was it a nerve root block?
If you have MRI images then please upload the images to know more about the severity of the stenosis. Usually we give epidural block in case of stenosis. You can try pain medicine and muscle relaxants to relieve the pain.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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MRI OF LUMBOSACRAL SPINE: -

PROTOCOL:

-     SE T1W & TSE T2W SEQUENCES IN SAGITTAL PLANE.
-     TSE T2 W SEQUENCE IN AXIAL PLANE.
-     STIR SEQUENCE IN CORONAL PLANE.
-     MR MYELOGRAPHY USING HEAVILY T2W SEQUENCE IN SAGITTAL AND CORONAL PLANES ON A 1.5 TESLA SCANNER.

There is some degree of straightening of lumbar lordotic curvature. Vertebrae are normal in height, alignment and marrow signal intensity.
Dessicative disc changes and anterior osteophytes are noted at multiple levels. Disc height is reduced at L4-5 with degenerative endplate changes at this level.

There is diffuse disc bulge, thickened ligamentum flavum & facet joint arthropathy at L4-5 compressing the thecal sac and causing spinal canal stenosis with bilateral neural canal compromise (L>R). The mid sagittal diameter and area of spinal canal are 0.8cm and 0.75cm² (lower normal limits are 1.0cm and 1.5cm² respectively. Effusion is detected in the facet joints.
Annular tear, diffuse disc bulge and facet joint arthropathy are visualized at L3-4 indenting the thecal sac.
Diffuse disc bulge is observed at L5-S1 mildly compromising the neural canals bilaterally.

Cord ends at L1 vertebral level and shows normal signal intensity. No abnormal pre or paraspinal soft tissue mass is seen. MR myelography confirms the above findings.

Impression      :     MR findings reveal lumbar spondylotic changes with
     -     Diffuse disc bulge, thickened ligamentum flavum and facet joint arthropathy at L4-5 compressing the thecal sac and causing spinal canal stenosis with bilateral neural canal compromise (L>R).
     -     Annular tear, diffuse disc bulge and facet joint arthropathy at L3-4 indenting the thecal sac.
     -     Diffuse disc bulge at L5-S1 mildly compromising the neural canals bilaterally.

-     To be correlated clinically.

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