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Foraminal Stenosis (among other things) Please help!

Started by juliefouc on 04/23/2015 1:06pm

I am hoping some of you could help me out… I am a 31 year-old female in otherwise good health. I have 2 children. I also have extreme back pain. I’ve had some mild-moderate pain for the past 10 or so years, and have been seeing a chiropractor with some success. However, in the past nine months, the lower back pain has morphed into something else. I went to the doctor, who did an xray. Nothing came up except moderate disk space narrowing in the lumbar region. So she assumed it was muscle spasms. I was very frustrated as I know myself, and knew those weren’t muscle spasms. Although reluctant she agreed to do an MRI. Anyway, it came back, and shows some issues.

Before I recopy the results, I want to describe the type of pain I’ve been having. It mostly happens at night. I wake up with severe, stabbing pains in my low back which radiates outwards towards the hips whenever I move at night (which is dozens of times). And in the mornings, I have trouble getting out of bed and getting dressed as I am in so much pain and also so stiff. Things get a bit better during the day, except that those stabbing pains return when I stand from sitting, walk on uneven ground, or, for example, try to put the baby in his crib. Needless to say, it’s making child-rearing difficult and much less enjoyable than it should be! Also, during the day, and in the evenings when I first get into bed, I have moderate-severe pain in my mid-back. That type of pain is more dull and somewhat feels like muscular pain. That one is constant throughout the day.

Anyway, after getting the results, the doctor agreed to let me see an orthopedic specialist. However, I live in Canada. That means to get any kind of specialist appointment takes months. My appointment is a 5 month-wait. In the meantime, she’s given me T3s, but they give me horrible insomnia and don’t last through the night. I don’t know if my problem can get better on its own over time, and/or what to expect at the specialists. All I know is that the pain is getting worse and more frequent, and that it’s making life difficult. I’d love to be able to play on the floor with my kids! (among other things!)

Of note, I have seen a chiropractor for years. I’ve also been doing physio for months. They referred me to an osteopath. He’s helped me, but the relief is always short-lived. Does anyone know what the specialist might be able to do for me? Please give me hope! I’m terrified he’ll look at my MRI results and tell me it’s just something I’ll have to live with. In Canada, the medical field tends to focus only on the most serious cases as resources are limited. Others can be brushed aside. I’ve also noticed some reverse ageism going on… The doctor was reluctant to even give me pain meds because ‘I was so young’ and was worried I’d get addicted. She’s also told me I shouldn’t consider surgery as the risks were too high for someone as young as me.

Ok, so firstly, there is a small central disc herniation at T6. Also, almost all of my discs C, T, and L are bulging. The big one is as follows:
“At the level of L4-5, there is at least mid desiccation of the disk. There is moderate to significant loss of disk height. There are degenerative changes of the endplates. There is a small circumferential disk osteophyte carp lex. A superimposed small central disk bulge is seen. There is mild narrowing of the caliber of the spinal canal. There are mild facet joint degenerative changes bilaterally. There is mild to moderate bilateral neural foraminal narrowing. L4 nerve roots exit cleanly bilaterally”.

What worries me is that this says the nerve roots are fine. In my limited knowledge on such things, wouldn’t that mean that despite the foraminal narrowing, that the nerves are fine and are NOT causing my pain? I am worried the specialist will not clue in to the fact that the pain occurs during movement, not while lying still on an MRI table. Which to me means that the nerves do get pinched, but it just doesn’t show up on an MRI…

Please help! I just want to feel like a 31-year-old again.
Thanks in advance 

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4 Responses


You have to get yourself and your MRI / Xrays to a REPUTABLE Ortho. Also a good web site that has great info. and very intelligent knowledgeable people who have "been there done that" is ADR Support forum.com Please check it out. Also some of the finest spine doctors are in Europe check them out. Good luck


Thank you for your response! I checked out the board you mentioned. ADR stands for Artificial Disk Replacement? Just wondering if you think based on what I wrote that this might be an option for me (or you just like that board for generic reasons : )

Of note, I slept 2.5 hours last night due to the pain alternating between my upper and lower back. Couldn't find a position which pleased both upper and lower. My doctor might be able to give me Percocet but she's only back to work on Tuesday so I'm just treading water until then... I literally feel like a deer in the headlights right now not knowing what to do!


Julie they talk , discuss everything in regards to spine problems. Join the forum and get their input in regards to your problem.


One thing you might want to look into is possible Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. I had very similar situation with lumbar degeneration and a lot of pain laying in bed at night. Long story but I was eventually diagnosed with SI Joint dysfunction and subsequent bilateral si joint fixation surgery in Nov 2010. It helped relieve my painfull nights. I live in Northern Indiana and found a very knowledgable Physical Therapist that works with a Orthopedic Surgeon in Gainesville Georgia. The web site is " sidysfunction.com". There is a lot of good information available. I would think that you could find a knowledgeable Physical Therapist or Physician in your area that could help you. Good Luck!