Couldn't find what you looking for?


My MRI is so confusing.
1. Mild bulging disc eccentric to the right side at C4-5 without central canal spinal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing.
2. Mild bulging disc at C5-6 and there is mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing without central canal spinal stenosis. This is due to mild bilateral uncovertebral spurring.
3. Slight annular bulge at C6-7.

My problem is shoulder and elbow pain without neck pain.
The doc thinks it is coming from neck. I had shoulder surgery 16 months ago for spurs and shredded rotator cuff. The shoulder healed but neck started hurting real bad. Went through numerous negative tests and docs. They tried epidural injections in cervical spine with no change. Sent me back to ortho who injected my biceps tendonitis and tennis elbow. All symptoms including neck were gone for 8 months till I injured my elbow pulling something. I am being sent back to pain doctor as ortho doesn't think this is coming from arm but from neck. Any one have experience where the injury to the arm flares the neck. How do you treat this at the neck or arm.


The pain is in all likelihood coming from your neck it seems to me from your description. From your MRI results those bulging discs and foraminal narrowing can cause those symptoms. I have bulging discs, degenerative disc disease (read: osteoarthritis), mild to moderate foraminal narrowing depending on the level - it seems like there's something else but it escapes me now. My MRI report showed no spinal stenosis but both my PT and my neurosurgeon think that I do in fact have some compression now based on my symptoms.

Anyway, I had tendonitis horribly in my right shoulder off and on for years. I finally did the arthroscopic surgery to shave off the bone spur and have never regretted the decision.

Fast forward a few years and I started having the same pain in my left shoulder. My physical therapist (who is a good friend) told me to come in and we'd start doing some exercises and hopefully avoid another surgery. After a few appts I had terrible pain in my arm just above my elbow, pins and needles feelings constantly in my left arm, and then had my index finger and thumb go numb. It was obvious at that point to him that all of that pain was truly coming from my neck and not my shoulder. After 10 weeks of PT I was better, but sort of reached a plateau and was still in pain. From what I assume the neck traction, the symptoms in my left arm improved but then I had symptoms in my right arm as well (and most of what is shown in my MRI is bilateral so stands to reason). 

You should see if you can get a referral to a neurosurgeon. After the PT I saw an orthopedic surgeon and when he saw my MRI results he sent me to a neurosurgeon. I did pain management, had foraminal injections with cortisone and a cervical epidural as well - no results. So I am now having surgery. Oh they also did nerve testing to rule out carpal tunnel first. Anyway, I am having a posterior laminectomy and foraminotomy as soon as my insurance approves it and then will schedule the surgery. 

My neck is sore but actually my shoulders/arms/wrists/hands/fingers are where the most pain is, not so much my neck. 

I don't know if this helps but I think you should definitely investigate the cervical spine to see if that really is causing your pain - seems definitely possible.