Cervical stenosis pain treatment options

Posted by birdman518 @birdman518, Aug 26, 2021

I have severe spinal stenosis and have numbness in my right arm and hand,
especially my thumb and index finger. I have had a few issues which
involve my neck looking up so I know it is involved there (shooting pain down my arm).
I have my first appt scheduled with a neurosurgeon in October,
Just in the last week, my neck pain has been excruciating. I normally just control
it with Ibuprofen, but a few times wished I had something stronger. Also FWIW I
tried Naproxsen, but it did not help me at all.
I know they tell you to watch out for Ibuprofen and stomach issues, but I am
at a loss for what else to do. Before this recent bout of neck pain I would
only take 2 at night unless I was walking during the day, in which case it would
be 4 a day. Now I feel like I need 6 a day, 2 after breakfast and lunch and
2 at bedtime.
Does this seem like "too much"? I have read that some people take 4 or 6 at
a time, so I am hoping I won't have problems.
Thanks!

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@birdman518 Severe spinal stenosis does cause a lot of pain. If you also have muscle spasms that are moving the vertebrae, that will increase pain. Waiting until October is going to take some will power. When I was in this position of waiting for spine surgery, I was working with a physical therapist who was doing a few things to make me more comfortable. She did myofascial release and was using that along with very gentle hands on techniques to get the spine realigned more toward a normal curvature and she was using neurostimulation to block pain signals which did reduce my pain for about a week, so we did this every week. She used 2 hand held Dolphin Neurostimulator devices that sent current between them which blocked the neurotransmitter biochemical signals that conduct nerve pain. I didn't have severe stenosis, but I did have spinal cord compression. I know any neck bending would likely increase pain as it did for me. I was wrapping a beaded heat wrap around my neck that I warmed in the microwave to help with muscle spasms and it physically kept me from bending my neck which helped. I would wrap a scarf around it to hold it in place. A neck brace would have helped too, but this was working, so I didn't buy one.

Have you worked with a physical therapist before for your neck?

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@birdman518 Severe spinal stenosis does cause a lot of pain. If you also have muscle spasms that are moving the vertebrae, that will increase pain. Waiting until October is going to take some will power. When I was in this position of waiting for spine surgery, I was working with a physical therapist who was doing a few things to make me more comfortable. She did myofascial release and was using that along with very gentle hands on techniques to get the spine realigned more toward a normal curvature and she was using neurostimulation to block pain signals which did reduce my pain for about a week, so we did this every week. She used 2 hand held Dolphin Neurostimulator devices that sent current between them which blocked the neurotransmitter biochemical signals that conduct nerve pain. I didn't have severe stenosis, but I did have spinal cord compression. I know any neck bending would likely increase pain as it did for me. I was wrapping a beaded heat wrap around my neck that I warmed in the microwave to help with muscle spasms and it physically kept me from bending my neck which helped. I would wrap a scarf around it to hold it in place. A neck brace would have helped too, but this was working, so I didn't buy one.

Have you worked with a physical therapist before for your neck?

Jump to this post

I have seen PTs on two occasions, but not specifically for this neck pain. Neither sessions did any good, in fact I felt worse. But I realize that PT will probably have to be part of any ongoing treatment. Based on what you told me, I may reach out to someone who was recommended to me by a friend (who is herself a retired PT)… Thanks for sharing, as always. I will try and update if I do go somewhere.

REPLY
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