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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Lumbar Spinal Stenosis or Lyme Disease

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Author Topic: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis or Lyme Disease
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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Finally found published correlation between Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and Lyme Disease.


" Other diagnoses should also be considered in the differential diagnosis of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis."

These conditions include spinal arachnoiditis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropath, sarcoidosis, carcinomatous meninges, and a VARIETY OF INFECTIONS such as cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, herpes zoster virus, Epstein Barr virus, LYME DISEASE, mycoplasma, tuberculosis."

This is probably why LLMD's recommend IV antibiotics in Lyme patients that present with neurological, spinal, or central nervous system involvement.

This is my argument against surgery. Thoughts ?

Posts: 2791 | From Florida | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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So, this is not a correlation between LSS and Lyme.

Rather, it is saying that before you diagnose LSS, you must rule out inflammation due to inflammation-causing diseases such as EBV, lyme, myco, TB, etc.

If your discs appear on x-ray and MRI as black, flat, herniated, etc. then you have degenerative disc disease, NOT TB, lyme, myco, EBV, herpes, etc. as the CAUSE of your back pain.

So, when a patient has inflammation in the spinal area, this article is saying that the doc has to be sure the patient does not have inflammation-causing diseases (which could be the real source of the spinal pain).

An MRI usually confirms the diagnosis and that is the end of the differential diagnosis.

In your case, I believe your MRI revealed degenerative disc disease (including herniated discs), so that is the cause of your pain. It is a mechanical issue--discs pressing on nerves as they come out of the spinal cord.

Surgery is a last resort in these cases. Try all other options first because surgery does not have a high success rate.

I have friends who can attest to that!! (Worse after surgery, or no change in pain after surgery, etc.) I have one friend who was helped by a minor surgery--cutting off the herniated part of the disc. That and permanent lifestyle changes have allowed her to live virtually pain free.

Posts: 9931 | From Maryland | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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While this is daunting, indeed, I would certainly seek out a variety of treatment options before considering surgery.

And, if surgery is considered and planned, then there are other things to work around such as the use of vaccinations / biologics to any patients in hospital - it may be that you have a choice in these but get educated in that.

Steroids are often administered after surgery to lessen inflammation. Again, since steroids can make lyme or other infections blossom, talk to your LLMD about other options and a way to communicate long beforehand to be sure of your treatment.

Keep in mind that the doctors and hospital staff may - or may not - even believe in chronic lyme. Your LLMD, or those in the area - would know the best way to approach and maybe the best doctor to be sure lyme is taken into account.

--- Back to options that may help heal without surgery - always the best, when possible.

Best shoes with personally made orthotics / inserts if you can. Be sure to have proper foot support at all times, all times, other than when bathing. No flip flops. Sigh.

Birkenstocks might be the best. - may have some. Or Dansko clogs (but they can get heavy.

If you have some kind of sandal, your foot needs to be sure to "land" exactly in place with each step and turn.

INFRARED LIGHT treatments ?

Ultrasound therapy

These can help with blood flow to the area and that can help speed healing.

Nutrients, too, matter.

An herb called: uh . . . Boneset --- explore whether that might be of help.

First, though, would get an assessment by a doctor trained in UPLEDGER - take your images with you.

Even if they - and other professionals as you get 2md, 3rd & 4th opinions - concur, perhaps Upledger methods, or Infrared light, Pulsing, etc. could help with recovery.

From the get-go after any surgery, gentle body work might help prevent some formation of scar tissue. This matters.

Some do very well when the structural stuff has been reworked. Yet, still lots to explore so that it would go the best it could.

Acupuncture is used in some hospitals to help relieve pain and lessen some drugs.

UPLEDGER INSTITUTE (particular method)

CranioSacral Therapy

[this type is excellent for those with lyme as there is no sudden twisting of the spine or neck - which should never be done with some who deals with lyme where the spine might be infected / inflammed / swollen]

Also just for assessment reasons. You may or may not want to schedule a session for body work -- but if even other places in your skeleton might benefit from some work - your tender spine could be treated, well - tenderly or avoided.

See what they have to say.

FIND A THERAPIST trained in UPLEDGER TECHNIQUE (not all trained in cranial-sacral also have the visceral training so do ask first.)

[ 06-05-2018, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I don't know much about spinal problems-but two of my relatives had surgery for disk problems, and both did very well-one has no back pain whatsoever- the other is in her 90s and still gets around pretty well.

You would have to talk to your doctor-they probably could tell you about how likely surgery would be to help.

chronic Lyme/Bartonella

Inside every sick person is a well person waiting to be freed

Posts: 232 | From new england | Registered: Nov 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Possible connection ?

" The Lyme spirochete may induce joint damage using both host tissue and spirochetal aggrecanases."

" Aggrecanase activity has been associated with various forms of arthritis and more recently with progression of degenerative disc disease and aortic aneurysm dissection. "

Posts: 2791 | From Florida | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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bartender, I would never rule these stealth infection out as the cause on anything anymore.

Keebler gave you some great alternatives to give some real considerations to before surgery. I know money is an issue.

But someone that is well versed in cranial sacral & myofascial release could really help relieve some pain.

And not just in your spine, because after all the brain, jaw, GI, all the way down to the feet is one being.

I believe in the power of this type of body work because it worked for me. I was on 4 Tramadol and up to 2400 mg a day of Advil just 2 yrs ago and my hip was still screaming.

I was going to find a cane because those toxic meds weren't touching my hip pain....when I found this wonderful therapist that had lived thru back surgeries and pain with no relief herself.

Yes, it was twice a month work for those 2 years, but I'm now off pain meds for 4 months.

I wish you insight into finding your relief.


"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

Posts: 6454 | From Louisville, Ky | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Can i ask your age? I don't think someone in their 20s or 30s would have degenerative disc disease without cause.
Posts: 478 | From Third Coast | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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The way your question was first phrased can cause some confusion in replies.

When you ask if this is lyme or structure damage . . .

While lyme is not directly causing the pain at this point - lyme (&.or other infections) likely caused the structural damage. Spirochetes can burrow into bones and sort of even turn it Swiss cheese, so to speak.

Steroid shots into joints can also cause bones to literally, though not all that long period of time, actually, disappear or break easily. I had a bit of foot bone that was just crushed and disappeared from X-ray. That point had also been the site of several steroid shot over the years.

Steroids in a person with lyme can also make lyme blossom and make bone damage more likely as the immune system is weakened by steroids shots, even if "localized" - nothing that goes into or onto the body is just "localized" - it's all absorbed and circulated.

With my crushed foot bone, Lyme might have also been a player, of course as I went so many years with no diagnosis / treatment. But my money is also on the steroid shots' damage.

Nutritional deficiencies, too, play a part. Magnesium is ever as important to bone strength . . . as are other minerals besides calcium. Dieting all during my younger decades probably hurt my bones. I barely ate at all - other than lettuce.

Lots of diet soda over decades, too, can cause trouble with bones. Any soda, even just the carbonation, can be hard on bones but - I have to wonder about all the artificial sweeteners, too. My mouth was dry since high school. For many years, I always had a diet soda being sloshed into my mouth.

It took me years to discover green tea was a great replacement.

Certain medications or other illnesses can also be variables for those with bone issue.

Past injuries, too.

As you consider all the variables - so as to understand but also to know what needs attention now, moving forward, though lyme treatment will not put you all back together again.

Continued attention to current infections does still matter, though, to contain damage and help your body get stronger.

Some kinds of physical attention - whatever that might be, for however multi-faceted that might also be - the physical structure needs attention beyond lyme / other TBD treatments.

Just remember that whatever you do for treatments or repair you still must consider that you are a caretaker for a body with lyme, etc.

All medications must be assessed in light of that. And in light of liver & kidney stress as those organs are more at risk for someone with lyme / TBD.

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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