Author Topic: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis  (Read 4365 times)

Offline Cool Runnings

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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« on: April 13, 2016, 11:38:36 AM »
Anyone here know about this condition?

Been having major foot/ nerve problems for two years, doc finally figured out I have a pinched nerve in my back!

Offline cruzziguzzi

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 12:21:12 PM »
I have bouts from time to time from an event in the Army. I wish it was a cool story but it was just stooopid.

While on active duty, I would run into Group Surgeons (within our own organization) and greater U.S. Army doctors with widely varying methods of addressing it.

The Osteopaths would address it physically/mechanically and quite effectively while the M.D.s would go with rest and pain meds as well as one particularly effective muscle relaxant.

After retiring, I generally only dealt with M.D.s and as I dislike the side effects of the better pain meds, I'd use them minimally.

Then, I run into this gal whom I have since married - she started running me through a drill of a half-dozen or so "soccer stretches". Now, at the onset of the pains - which can come from as innocuous an act as stepping off of a curb - I stop, hammer the two best stretches and Bob's yo,... er, my uncle!

So, what have I gathered with a half century in the rear view?

1. Don't do that!
2. Don't do that, that way! Sometime, ya gotta do the thing... Find another way. Example: One of my worst aggravators would be lifting an item from the ground and as lifting, rotate on my spine/hips to set it down - regardless of the final height.
3. Keep those meds on hand just in case but don't rely upon them solely.
4. Run the gamut of stretches and take a few iterations to determine the most effective ones and if you can't perform them immediately upon aggravating the nerve - at least don't go to bed or sit in a car (or elsewhere) for extended periods without performing them.
5. Don't do that!


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Offline normzone

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 12:50:00 PM »
Just having returned from the google, I see that they dump stenosis in with half a dozen other reasons that your body hurts.

I knew fellow who had the hereditary narrowing of the passage in the vertebrae that your spinal cord runs through in his neck - surgery was required.

The other forms of body pain relating to pinched nerves, misaligned vertebrae, etc. are well addressed by what [cruzziguzzi] recommends.

I have an irreplaceable chiropractor who periodically makes all my woes go away - I try to see him once a month, but if I skip a few months the frequency averages out to once a month each year anyway, so you can see the lesson I have learned there.

Chiropractors are like girlfriends - there's a lot of them that are unimpressive at the least, and some you'd be a fool not to keep.
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Offline not-fishing

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 01:38:24 PM »
  I knew fellow who had the hereditary narrowing of the passage in the vertebrae that your spinal cord runs through in his neck - surgery was required.

The other forms of body pain relating to pinched nerves, misaligned vertebrae, etc. are well addressed by what [cruzziguzzi] recommends.

My Dad suffered from it for 30 years using pain meds that caused other problems.  I have it and my younger brother has it.

I just deal with the pain because after watching Dad I don't want the meds even though the Docs give them to me. 

The Saving Grace has been my Griso.  I ride it like a horse and the movement has really reduced the pain attacks in both strength and frequency.         :bike-037:

I wonder if I could get the Doc to prescribe a new Stelvio.......
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 01:38:24 PM »

Online sib

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 01:45:37 PM »
Anyone here know about this condition?

Been having major foot/ nerve problems for two years, doc finally figured out I have a pinched nerve in my back!
Pretty near everyone over 60 knows about lumbar stenosis, intimately.  In most cases, the pain is confined to the lower back.  I'm relatively lucky, by lower back aches only when I get up after sitting or lying for a while.  I'm especially lucky because I have no pain while sitting, even astride my motorcycle.

In your case, the foot/nerve pain indicates sciatica, pinching of the sciatic nerve.  One cause of this, but not the only cause, is indeed lumbar stenosis.  Another cause is pinching of the nerve where is goes between a couple of muscle layers in the buttocks.
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Offline lost

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 02:08:12 PM »
I have it in my neck and I also believe I have it in the lower regions. My doctor wouldn't look at my lower back until he had crippled me by fusing 3 discs in my neck. Since I refused to play along the lower was never checked out. What everyone is saying about stretching is true, it does help but the pain does not go away. I feel like someone is poking the back of my legs with a sharp stick every step I take. For the aching feet try stretching your feet back towards you every day. I have been doing that and can now walk with pain free feet. For the neck I used acupuncture which eliminated the pain in my neck and shoulder. No such magic for the legs and hips. I figure as long as I can still get my leg over the saddle I'm ok. I walk better after getting off the bike than I do getting out of the car so I pretty much use the motorcycles as commuter vehicle unless it is snowing out. I may look at surgery when I can no longer walk. If the doctor sneezes while operating you will be a vegetable anyway.

Also following advice received on this forum I started taking Bragg apple cider vinegar every day and actually feel better. Might be a plecibo but if I fell better who cares.

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 03:01:57 PM »
My lower back spasmed badly two years ago. Bedridden for three days and barely able to walk for week more. When able to drive, I went to the massage therapist. He got me back in alignment and pain free and told me gravity was my enemy. I purchased an Ironman Inversion Table that is a godsend along with a Vigorfit home gym. Stretches and exercise work for me.

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 03:20:35 PM »
I use an inversion table two times a day for a few minutes.  I am a little guy, so I hang vertically from it. Fast, easy, pays for itself in just one doctors visits for therapy. 


My bone doctor told me that the American Male is the most handicap group of people on the planet.  He said we are encourage to live an extreme life style, take chances and abuse our bodies.  I am living proof he is right.  I encourage my children not to abuse themselves.  My Mother, 88 y.o. lived a very calm and uneventful life.  She is physically fit.  Many of the elderly people (80+)I know lived a life style that was not physically demanding saving them from the destruction it causes.  To old and crippled to wise up now.  Good luck.  Stay away from the pain meds, they just hide the pain. 

Offline John A

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 03:25:50 PM »
I have it fairly badly, steroid injections help, wil get one in May . Being fitted for a new custom back brace tomorrow , it's a life changing deal for me. Been offered surgery but am scared of that, if it goes wrong they tell me I'll never walk again. Still looking for options.
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Offline Muzz

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 04:05:45 PM »
After a battle with injury related conditions I got to the stage where the auto immune condition had basically disappeared but both legs still hurt and the muscles were in a constant stage of contraction. Hobbled like an 80 year old granny. No medical person could give me an answer why. Had to go to a physio when I tore the other hammy, asked him (not expecting an answer) and after looking at my myriad of scans came back and said he could see what the problem was and he could alleviate it. I was put on a refined version of the rack, and after the first treatment the actual pain started easing off. The second one and the pain disappeared and the muscles started easing off, and the third everything came back to normal. It has transformed my life.

One downside is that the lower back started aching and cramping up. Currently he is using massage and exercises to ease things up so he can do a bit of manipulation.

The condition is at the stage now that I go in, I expect, say 4-5 months for another stretch. The stiffness/aching in the lower back only lasts for about an hour in the morning.

Absolutely no problems on the bike. :thumb:
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Offline Higgins9875

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 04:59:29 PM »
At the risk of being tl;dr -

http://blogs.nejm.org/now/index.php/fusion-for-lumbar-spinal-stenosis/2016/04/13/

no easy answers, but surgery is considered last resort.
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Offline Cool Runnings

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 05:59:55 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. Seems like Lumbar Spinal Stenosis has affected my feet (a lot). Two years and no one could figure out my foot problems. Then a few weeks ago the pain started creeping up my right leg. Went back to my sports doc and they did an MRI on my back (instead of the feet). Bingo, pinched nerve big-time. On a 7 day cycle of prednisone now and then physical therapy next week. Next will most likely be the shot.

Starting 600mg 3 times a day of gabapentin. Going to try get certified for medical cannabis.

Hoping I found a really good doctor. Mayo Clinic Sports medicine.

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Offline Stormtruck2

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 06:26:57 PM »
Surgery is a last resort.  I finally had to do it. Doc told me my back almost completely self fused with bone spurs.  Worse she had ever seen in 30 years of neurosurgery practice. Fused from S1 up to L2  I think.  Put me on Gabapentin for a while. I weaned myself off of it because of side effects. I just acclimate to the left leg and foot pain. Occasionally 20  MG of Cyclobenziprine, and 7.5/750 Hydrocodone X2.   Do everything you can to avoid the knife. Post surgery infection came within a couple of hours of killing me, literally. Another week in the hospital, 6 months of IV antibiotics.  I had no other choice if I wanted any kind of life but to have surgery.  Couldn't even ride.  So my advice?   Do all you can to avoid the knife.  If it comes to the point of the only option is surgery, get a good neurosurgeon. I had a neuro and an orthopedic surgeon, and eight hours opened up on the table.  Am I better than I was?  Yes.  Am I good? No. Everything except surgery is reversable. Choice wisely, and conservatively.  Good luck my friend.
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Offline balvenie

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 08:27:41 PM »
FWIW
For my sciatica, Lyrica has practically chased it right away. Can make you drowsy.
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Offline Cool Runnings

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2016, 09:06:45 PM »
Surgery is a last resort.  I finally had to do it. Doc told me my back almost completely self fused with bone spurs.  Worse she had ever seen in 30 years of neurosurgery practice. Fused from S1 up to L2  I think.  Put me on Gabapentin for a while. I weaned myself off of it because of side effects. I just acclimate to the left leg and foot pain. Occasionally 20  MG of Cyclobenziprine, and 7.5/750 Hydrocodone X2.   Do everything you can to avoid the knife. Post surgery infection came within a couple of hours of killing me, literally. Another week in the hospital, 6 months of IV antibiotics.  I had no other choice if I wanted any kind of life but to have surgery.  Couldn't even ride.  So my advice?   Do all you can to avoid the knife.  If it comes to the point of the only option is surgery, get a good neurosurgeon. I had a neuro and an orthopedic surgeon, and eight hours opened up on the table.  Am I better than I was?  Yes.  Am I good? No. Everything except surgery is reversable. Choice wisely, and conservatively.  Good luck my friend.

Get yourself some klonopin, use before bedtime (1mg).  :thumb:

Offline Cool Runnings

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2016, 09:11:51 PM »
FWIW
For my sciatica, Lyrica has practically chased it right away. Can make you drowsy.

 Lyrica would cost me about $150 Month right now. I've heard it's way better than gabapentin. May be in my future.

Offline Muzz

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2016, 01:01:40 AM »
On a 7 day cycle of prednisone now and then physical therapy next week. Next will most likely be the shot.
[/i]

With first auto immune thing I had I was on Prednisone for quite a long time. It enabled me to (sort of) function. The downside was I suffered two hernias and a catastrophic RH him collapse. Two weeks max for that shit. I still do not know if the decrease in pain was worth the cost. :undecided:

All the best with your stenosis. Sadly, once it is there it does not magically disappear.
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Offline Cool Runnings

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 07:30:56 AM »
With first auto immune thing I had I was on Prednisone for quite a long time. It enabled me to (sort of) function. The downside was I suffered two hernias and a catastrophic RH him collapse. Two weeks max for that shit. I still do not know if the decrease in pain was worth the cost. :undecided:

All the best with your stenosis. Sadly, once it is there it does not magically disappear.

Only going to be on Prednisone for one week. With today's advances in surgery, I may be game for 'decompression surgery' at the Mayo Clinic if all other means do not alleviate the pain. It can be fixed.


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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2016, 07:31:28 AM »
I had a laminectomy March 11 at L4-L5. They also did a single level fusion. I am still wearing the post surgical brace, can't drive, and am severely limited in my movements. The real recovery is 3-6 months.
 
My back was absolutely trouble free all my life (I am 66) until October 2013, when I felt a little tingling in my left foot. This only got worse when I walked or was standing around, like in the kitchen. I sloughed it off until I finally couldn't walk more than a couple hundred yards without stopping. Sitting down would always make the pain go away.

Here's what I tried: the shots (worked for a month), physical therapy (I think I waited too long), acupuncture (I probably didn't give it long enough), yoga (why not?), and ignoring it.

My thoughts are: to try everything, I mean everything, before having surgery. Be sure in your mind that your quality of life is compromised sufficiently that you have no choice. Get a second and third opinion and really weigh the options.

It sounds as if you found a good guy. I am lucky in that I am near the University of Wisconsin. Their Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeons are excellent (they describe themselves as "high powered"). Entirely lacking in personality, but excellent surgeons. If Mayo is a teaching hospital though, it doesn't matter quite so much, because chances are, he will just be closely supervising some fellow or resident as they learn, not doing much.

This is all very fresh in my mind. It sounds as if you have a problem similar to mine. I you want more thoughts, PM me. I am not doing much other than walking these days.

Good luck

Offline Cool Runnings

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2016, 07:40:20 AM »
I had a laminectomy March 11 at L4-L5. They also did a single level fusion. I am still wearing the post surgical brace, can't drive, and am severely limited in my movements. The real recovery is 3-6 months.
 
My back was absolutely trouble free all my life (I am 66) until October 2013, when I felt a little tingling in my left foot. This only got worse when I walked or was standing around, like in the kitchen. I sloughed it off until I finally couldn't walk more than a couple hundred yards without stopping. Sitting down would always make the pain go away.

Here's what I tried: the shots (worked for a month), physical therapy (I think I waited too long), acupuncture (I probably didn't give it long enough), yoga (why not?), and ignoring it.

My thoughts are: to try everything, I mean everything, before having surgery. Be sure in your mind that your quality of life is compromised sufficiently that you have no choice. Get a second and third opinion and really weigh the options.

It sounds as if you found a good guy. I am lucky in that I am near the University of Wisconsin. Their Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeons are excellent (they describe themselves as "high powered"). Entirely lacking in personality, but excellent surgeons. If Mayo is a teaching hospital though, it doesn't matter quite so much, because chances are, he will just be closely supervising some fellow or resident as they learn, not doing much.

This is all very fresh in my mind. It sounds as if you have a problem similar to mine. I you want more thoughts, PM me. I am not doing much other than walking these days.

Good luck

Started weekly water aerobics, swim/ sauna everyday and I'm thinking of taking some yoga classes. One guy at the club was so bad he could only sleep on his stomach and the pain was so bad, for only a year he was thinking about doing himself in. He started swimming with fins everyday and now has no back pain, he refused surgery!  :thumb:

Offline Ronkom

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2016, 09:10:23 AM »
Spinal stenosis is only one of a wonderful package of genetic gifts from my old man. I had 8 brothers & sisters (2 have passed) Among the 9 of us, 16 spinal surgeries, varying results. One brother has so much stainless steel in his back that it sets off all the alarms at the airport. He still lives in pain every day. Laminectomies, fusions, low back, mid back, neck, You name it someone in my family's had it.....All but me, I haven't let them cut me yet. Old man was cut at Cleveland Clinic, promises of again  being able to go hunting, play golf, etc. etc. all bullshit. It was the beginning of the end for him. One lesson from him I took to heart.
I was treated by Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist for over a decade. He finally said he could do no more for me. Every Allopath who's ever seen any x-rays, MRI's, Mylograms etc. of my back has licked his chops & started sharpening scalpels.  I 've had the cortisone shots, no joy.
So, I live with it. Prolly average 3 200mg Ibuprofen a day. Also use "gravity inversion table" to hang upsidedown & pull vertebrae apart, (especially effective just before bed). As a young man I was 6'2" I'm now (age 70) about 6' 1/2". Almost no disc material left in my low back. Biggest limitation is walking/standing. Can't just "stand around" & talk more than a few minutes. a couple blocks is my limit walking. If I can sit for a few minutes, twist & stretch my back, I'm good for another couple blocks. But, say, go to DC & tour the Smithsonian like I used to....forget it. Biggest bummer is not being able to share all that kind of stuff w/Alice (4 years younger than me)   
At least I can sit w/out pain...& ride! (Guzzi content). Absolutely cannot stand the "feet forward" cruiser style seating. Removed stock bars from the EV and the Police Eldo, replaced w/ lower flatter bars that allow me to lean forward slightly & take load from my back. Getting a leg over a bike has become more of a problem, so I bought the MP-3 500 scooter for around town errands. Gotta do what ya gotta do to stay in the wind!
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Offline TBShorty

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2016, 10:03:34 AM »
I can't blame my back on my old man or anyone but me.  Too many years in the tooling trade and an industrial incident 30 yrs. ago ruptured 3 lumbar discs.  First mistake was surgery to get back to work asap.  Young family to feed and all. 30 yrs. and 3 surgeries later I'm told how much better off I'd be if I never had the first surgery.  Now with minimal drug interaction I've learned to work through the pain and living with it every day seems normal.  Orthopedist tells me he can fix me up with rods and screws in my spine and make all the sciatica go away and give me back some of the 1 1/2" I've lost in height.  Of course that would preclude my ability to twist my lower torso.  Not a safe way to ride motorcycles in my opinion.  I think I'll wait until I can't ride.  I will only turn 70 this summer and I feel that's a ways off for me.

Offline Thunderbutt

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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2016, 10:59:45 AM »
CR- my wife suffered from numbness/tingling of the lower leg, extreme pain in the lower lumbar region.  Went thru the whole routine of physical therapy, steroid shots, acupuncture and the doctors that wanted to turn her into a hardware store with the slice, dice and install rods, pins and screws.  At the advice of a co-worker we checked out laser spin surgery.  Just like the commercials say, small incision (less than 2") and back home a couple hours later.  She has been pain free for several years now.  I would recommend that you at least check out this as an alternative to the plates, rods and screws and perpetual drug use.  Good luck   
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