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Back pain and potential spinal stenosis, advice?

john22 Member Posts: 1 Listener
I have been suffering from a 'bad back' for about 5 years and last year according to a learned friend my symptoms are identical with spinal stenosis; in that I can't stand or walk for more than 5 mins without suffering numbness and pain and have to sit down. I went to a doctor who agreed that it sounded like spinal stenosis and said I should go to NHS physiotherapy. I asked if I could get it confirmed with an MRI and he said we don't do that you have to have the physio treatment before the diagnosis. Has the NHS gone completely mad! I might add the exercises are making no difference and I carry on suffering.


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @john22 and welcome to the community!

    Thank you for sharing your story. Sorry to hear that your symptoms are not improving with physio, sometimes these things can take time.

    Is there any particular advice that you would like to get from the online community?

  • feir
    feir Member Posts: 395 Pioneering
    edited July 2018
    Physio would make mine worse (as i know from overdoing things and ending up in incredible pain and in hospital). Physio might make you worse also and i'd ask to be referred to a spine consultant who can do you an MRI.

    My stenosis doesn't cause me back pain, it just affects my arms,hands, feet and legs (numbing/weakness) and all my torso joints & neck (pain).

    I'm not an expert but i also think that physio could cause permanent damage to the nerves, which will never be reversible and cause permanent pain or even death if the numbness happens in certain areas.
  • paineveryday
    paineveryday Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi John22,
     I have had 2 collapsed disc in my neck, 2 operations on the spine, I was sent for physio after my first operation. The pain The Physiotherapy caused was that bad one day I crying in pain. The physio didn't have my notes when she got too look at them she said I should never have been sent for phyisoterapy. I often wonder did that contribute to the second disc going in my neck. John22 be careful. Physio isn't allway's the answer.?
  • Suzs
    Suzs Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I have DDD in my whole spine with stenosis & other issues. I was sent to physio for years before getting an MRI. Apparently a GP cannot request this, only a consultant physio'.
    I feel your pain.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @john22, how are you doing?
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
    A belated welcome to the community, @paineveryday! How are you doing?
  • topshoes
    topshoes Member Posts: 442 Pioneering
    Hi @john22 sorry to hear of your back problems , o yes i know what you mean , i went to  physiotherapy years ago and didnt i know about it .yes they would not give me a scan then  
  • Charleyb
    Charleyb Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Hi I have had three lumber decompression and fusion of my lumber spine also decompression and fusion at the neck area and after two years my fusion has not fused I am in continuous intensifying pain from the top of my spine to the bottom I also have degenerating spine I feel pain in my wrist elbows neck shoulders and in both my legs the right leg is much worse now I try not to do much as the pain is to much to cope with


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