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  • egartman
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    I am a 22 year old female in Virginia. I have been having back pain since I was 16. My last MRI’s in 2009 showed 2 herniated discs 1 at l5-s1 (it stated it was hitting the nerve root)and somewhere in the C Spine. It also showed DDD and mild scoliosis in the T spine. On the MRI at the top (reason for study) it said I have a history of Arnold Chiari Malformation and Tethered Spinal Cord. I have never been told I have that so does that mean I do have that? It also stated I had a syrinx cavity from t6-t12. I have been referred to a neurosurgeon and am currently waiting for an appointment. I have been suffering from terrible sciatica leg pain for years. I am assuming the pain I am feeling is sciatica. Sometimes it is only in my buttocks and other times it goes all the way down to my foot. I have this pain in the right leg only. I have been going to a chiropractor which has helped some, but I am still having pain. He said I have some issues with my sacroiliac joints as well. I can feel it “pop out” sometimes and I have to find a way to pop it back in to relieve the pain because I can’t hardly stand it if I don’t. My neck hurts every single day. It is a burning type of pain that extends to my shoulders. My neck actually has a bump on it from where the muscles have developed strongly I guess you could say. That spot also hurts. Sometimes I have pain that radiates down my arms. I get headaches 3-4 times a week. I also have had this tremor in my right hand. It is always there, but you can only visibly see it sometimes or if I manipulate/extend my pinky finger. My chiropractor felt my muscles in my arms and said he didn’t think it was muscular. I have seen a neurologist before and he couldn’t find a cause for it. Could it be from the syrinx cavity? I also get this pins and needles feelings in my foot. Sometimes my hands become weak where I can’t squeeze or write. I have been going to the doctor since I was 16 for back pain and the only medicines they have given me is mobic, flexeril, and ibuprofen. These medications have not helped my pain at all so therefore I am currently not taking anything. Does all the pain and symptoms I am having go with what I have been told I have? Or does it sound like something else is going on? Like I mentioned above, I have not had an MRI since 2009. I really appreciate any feedback you may have or any suggestions.

    Thanks so much,


    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8660

    Arnold Chiari syndrome is the descent of a part of the cerebellum called the cerebellar tonsils that fills up the hole at the base of the brain, the foramen magnum. This syndrome would be evident on an MRI scan of the cervical spine. Tethered cord syndrome is a tough connection between the end of the cord and the base of the spine (filum terminale). You would not be able to see a tethered cord on a cervical MRI.

    A syrinx is a space in the center of the cord (the central canal) that holds CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) that fills up abnormally and widens. This syringomyelia can be associated with Arnold Chiari syndrome.

    Your leg pain is more likely from the disc herniation at L5-S1 compressing your right S1 nerve.

    The tremor in your hand most likely is not from your neck but most likely from the brain. Many individuals have essential tremor and this condition is benign. The neck pain may be from the cervical herniated disc but much more information is needed. The neurologist is the next stop.

    Dr. Corenman

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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