Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lumbar spinal stenosis? I have no idea what this is but I figure I don't want it

This is the what my doctor is getting having me x-rayed for. Lumbar spinal stenosis due to she speculates arthritis in the back. I guess this causes a narrowing in the spinal canal over time. Commonly not seen until someone is in their 60's... but, hey, not like that has ever excluded me from chronic pain, eh? I like to jump right on board with that. I don't know if she is right but I totally get how she is getting the idea it might be this because like I mentioned when I said this back pain cropped up, it isn't constant like an injury and these are the symptoms of Lumbar spinal stenosis:

"If the spinal cord or nerves become squeezed, symptoms may include:
  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in the legs, feet, or buttocks. These symptoms get worse when you walk, stand straight, or lean backward. The pain gets better when you sit down or lean forward.
  • Stiffness in the legs and thighs.
  • Low back pain.
  • In severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control."

And that is the pain I am feeling... it is significantly worse when I walk, rapidly which apparently is common. The pain can apparently be better at some times, which is also true. I do have troubles standing straight with it, especially in the morning and leaning back all the time as that is when i can feel exactly where it hurts and  aggravate it. And the pain diminishes when I sit down and lean forward. So that does sound like it right there. As for other things I have like... cramping, pain in the legs and feet, and stiffness in the legs and thighs... well, yeah, all the time but I have fibromyalgia so if it is from that I sure the hell would not know. The only thing that has gotten worse over the years has been the foot pain which got very severe one year and now is very... delicate and the leg stiffness that I can't stretch out no matter what I do. Again I don't think those are out of the realm of FM land.

Still I know just because something seems like it might fit into one box doesn't mean it does. So we will see what the x-ray says. I mean, I don't like the idea of arthritis in this spot that can so easily limit my ability to walk and I also don't like that the treatment is anti-inflamatories which I cannot take, but there are other option there it seems somewhat. It does seem if it really inhibits mobility they do surgery, but according to that one site it sounds like that just releases the tension on the spine, which is good, because it will help with the refereed pain and symptoms but might not do much for the actual back pain. However, if it isn't this, then maybe it is FM in a new and unpleasant fashion in which case I am at a loss on how to adapt to the inability to walk very far before the pain cripples me, and other times when it is problematic since I have not been able to adjust my walk as you can with say your hip or feet, and stretches don't help... they just make it worse. I would vastly prefer some sort of back injury, like a muscle injury or disc thingy that will just go away of its own accord. That is what my preference is... but I was rather hoping for that in the beginning and no such luck so far.


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