I say no, the pain is real. Some people get a lot of pain with this and others get minor pain. Stenosis is progressive, it gets worse. A lot depends on which discs are effected. Mine are in the Lumbar spine so I get weakness in my legs and 8 yrs after finding out I can't walk much.
I never found a good Doc to treat it but I have to start looking for one.
Is the pain in your head? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I would imagine you're in pain all day. Every day. Every moment. The conditions you've described involve "stuff" getting closer to the nerve roots in your spine at whichever level you're referring. There are many helpful computer-animated videos on the Spine Health website that can help you see and visualize the anatomy, and what your conditions do to the normal anatomy. (I'm an RN, and also an RDH [Registered Dental Hygienist], so obviously I have quite a bit of knowledge base regarding anatomy, but I'm not a neurosurgeon/pain management MD/NP or PA specializing in the spine, etc. The videos have helped me tremendously in visualizing my own spinal problems, as well as serving my own curiosity about other conditions.) The videos are short, easy to follow/understand, and no previous knowledge required. :)
I do hope you can find someone to help you. You must be miserable. :(
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