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Have back pain. Have limited movement. X-ray showed extra vertrabre. MRI's show moderate arthritis, herniated dics and spinal stenosis. Guide?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I have had back pain since Jr. High School and has continued to get worse as years go by, I'm 47 yrs. old now. I work M - F and keep little ones in the family most weekends. I want to contine to work until retirment. I have very limited movement / range of motion in my neck & back and that is a huge concern - it affects so many simple things like changing lanes while driving, cleaning myself properly in the bathroom (important concern - it's been over ten years since I was able to reach around back to clean myself and now my back is so stiff that I can barely reach between to clean myself), etc. I've been told different things by different doctors, it's like I'm having to try to figure this out on my own. One X-Ray showed I have an extra vertrabre, could that explain why I've had back pain since around the age of 13? MRI's show moderate arthritis, herniated dics, spinal stenosis - cervical and lumbar, DDD but yet I don't have an answer as to why I hurt all over?? Most all of the time? My doctor acts like it's in my head either way I need to know what kind of tests or questions that I might ask my doctor about that might explain my all over pain and help me get some relief. I know the difference in nerve pain because I experience it and have injections for them but this is different, it spreads from my neck down my back & across from shoulder to shoulder. I'm so stiff / limited movement that I worry I might not be able to care for myself in the future if I don't figure this out and get the right help. Suggestions? Please help.
Posted Wed, 2 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Muscle relaxants may help your situation.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

As per your attached report, You have degenerative spondylosis & disc disease in cervical, dorsal and lumbar spine (entire spine).

Generally the overlying muscles of the vertebral column reacts to any underlying irritation or inflammation in the form of spasm preventing any movement, termed as protective muscle spasm. This spasm could be the cause of stiffness in your entire back.

Intermittant moist heat fomentation of the affected regions may be of great help in reducing the muscle stiffness.

Muscle relaxant medications like Tizanidine, Cyclobenzaprine can be helpful. These are to be taken after consulting a doctor.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have back pain. Have limited movement. X-ray showed extra vertrabre. MRI's show moderate arthritis, herniated dics and spinal stenosis. Guide? 1 hour later
Thank you. I have some more questions....what can I do to increase my range of motion so I will be able to continue to function years from now? I currently do some yoga stretches. I had my family doctor do blood work for inflammation - CRP results were a 9 or .9?? is that in normal range? She really didn't explain it to me just said that was the results for inflammation. My pain management doctor seems to discount my complaints like I'm imagining it. I have trouble talking/expressing myself to the doctor / any doctor when I'm in their office for some reason. My complete list of complaints: headaches, pain runs down left arm, low back pain that runs down both legs, in addition to the ROM problems. I just need to know honestly if the reports correspond with what I am saying? He seems to think it's not that serious but I would hate to feel what he would consider serious.
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Regular, gentle stretching of muscles.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Nice to hear from you.

Any form of regular, gentle stretching of the involved muscles in the form of bending movements will help in relaxation of the muscles. Remember, the stretching should not go to the point where the muscle pain starts. As already said, Moist heat application over the stiff areas will effectively counter the spasm.

Generally, a Crp value of less than 1mg/dL is considered as normal (though different labs have different normal ranges). So keep an eye on their normal range of Crp.

Hope I have justified your query. Good day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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