Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: Justice, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 09

Spinal stenosis is a miserable disease. When my doctor first informed me that I had it, I asked him what kinds of exercises I can do to make it better. I was in great shape. I was an avid hiker and had climbed a lot of mountains. I could carry a 30 lb. pack, my rifle plus a western style strap on 22 magnum Colt and ammunition plus a canteen, up any hill in sight of my city. Then my back started to hurt toward the end of my hike and after a few months I was having trouble in the middle of my hike and soon I was just walking around my neighborhood. I was taking long breaks and resting, thinking I had just pulled something. That is called denial. My doctor said exercising makes it worse. I have had it now for about ten years and a shopping trip will put me in bed some days. I have had shots and was addicted to morphine for a couple of years. I applied for disability because I could not walk to my car on some days. If you have been diagnosed with this disease don't get into narcotics to kill the pain. You will wind up with another problem that will ruin your life. Get help from a specialist in stenosis right now, before it gets worse. Try epidurals without narcotics in the injection and take OTC medicines or those that are anti-inflammatory medicines. Get ready for back braces and pain. Take it easy when you are in pain and hope they find something that is a sure cure. Nothing out there is a sure cure. Just don't get on pain medicines that have opiates in them.

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Comment from: NAck, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I developed pain in my legs while walking, about 4 or 5 years ago and went to a prompt care facility. They said I had classic arthritis and put me on the lowest dose of meloxicam which I continued with until recently. The pain has gotten much worse recently so I made an appointment with my primary physician with the intent of upping my medication. He asked me some questions and said he doesn't think I have arthritis and ordered me an MRI and made a follow-up appointment with a spine specialist. He strongly suspects lumbar spinal stenosis with claudication or something or other. Anyway, my journey begins.

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Comment from: Ribbs, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I am 62 have had both knees replaced 2 years ago and a triple CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) 2 years ago. Now I have lumbar spinal stenosis, it is hard to walk far and when walking up steps it makes it hard to breathe at times. I am trying to last out the winter and have a laminectomy done in March if I can last that long.

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Comment from: Mohammad, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 21

I am a 40 years old male, having back pain since last 3 years but it was on and off so I ignored it. Six months ago pain started in all joints of my body and it was unbearable. I went to a specialist and he did so many tests but all were negative. Finally I was sent to MRI which showed L4 disc sacralized in lumbar area, disc desiccation in C3 C4, and mild bulge in C4, C5 and C6. I am unable to bend more than 1 minute, can't lift any object as doctor warned me my disc can rupture with only a little pressure. I have osteoarthritis in both knees, shoulders hurt, elbow hurts, wrist pains and all finger joints hurt. I am very depressed, not interested in life at all but still I have to live to raise my 2 small kids.

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Comment from: Ann, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I had a hip replacement in March 2014. I had the surgery with a spinal block and no sedation. The anesthetists tried five times to inject the spinal block but couldn't find a space. They said they would try once more, if not I would have to have a general anesthesia. They put the sixth one higher up on my back and it worked. Since my operation I have developed lumbar spinal stenosis, cannot walk far without getting out of breath, I'm extremely stiff, sometimes my body feels as if it's in a vice. I've recently been offered steroid injection in the bone on my right hip to see if that could be the problem. I have declined that because I have a history of allergies. I have had eight sessions of acupuncture and physiotherapy. I wonder if this condition will get better with time. I don't know if it has been caused by the spinal block or the hip replacement which was on my left hip. My main problem for lack of movement is on the right side, I have to lie on my back to sleep as my body is so stiff, I can hardly maneuver. I also have disc degeneration on L4 and L5. I have always been so active, and just want to get back to my normal active self. The hip replacement stopped the awful pain, but there was a slight leg discrepancy which was finally put right. That stopped my recovery for quite a few months. My surgeon said I wouldn't need a raise in my shoe, which I should have had from the beginning.

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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication did you receive for lumbar spinal stenosis?

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