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Back and Neck Injury/Cervical spondylosis, bulging disc protrusion, cervical stenosis, para central disc protrusion


I just recently had a MRI done of my cervical area and would like a little insight into specifically what I am dealing with.

I am a 41 year old female and have been an athlete most of my life. I taught aerobics in my early 20s and personal trained. I have been engaged in endurance sports for approx. 20 years. I run 10-15 miles and bike 30-40 miles. I do this mostly because I thoroughly enjoy it. I have never had back problems but I have had neck problems due mostly from rear end collisions.  In fact my neck is the only place in my body that has really been significantly injured.

My MRI says the following: mild mid cervical kyphosis with reactive end plate marrow change centered around C5-C6. No para spinal mass or collection.

At C4-C5 there is mild disc degeneration with a small left para central disc protrusion which effaces the ventral subarachnoid space and indents the spinal cord. Mild central spinal stenosis withou neural foraminal encroachment.

At C5-C6 there is disc degeneration with disc osteophyte bulge and bilobed left greater than right paracentral disc protrusion. Uncovertebral osteophytic change. Mild to moderate central spinal stenosis with mild bilateral neural foraminal encroachment.

At C6-C7 there is mild disc degeneration with shallow left para central protrusion. Mild central spinal stenosis without neural foraminal encroachment.

How do these findings explain the pain that I feel particularly in my rhomboids and  occasional sharp jabbing pains in neck, pins and needles, numbness, and burning throughout upper thoracic area, almost as though my chest and upper back are compressed.

I have been treated with chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, but still feel intense pain if I try to get back to doing the exercise that I love. Will this be permanently disabling and will I be able to run and bike again the way I was before the rear end collision?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated,

Hi, Cindy,

The neck injuries you sustained triggered muscular contractions in your neck.

These contractions cause compression of the discs and, if severe enough, lead to changes of bone condition in your vertebrae -- all of which lead to what you are experiencing:  symptoms of nerve compression.  That explains the symptoms.

What to do is another issue.  Manipulative methods have produced the degree of improvement you have experienced; manipulative methods don't do well for developing natural control of muscles and movement -- or for restoring it.

The following article gives you what you need to know and a course of action.

"Faster Recovery from Whiplash Injuries" |

Back and Neck Injury

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Lawrence Gold


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