What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a common cause of neck pain or low back pain that involves a narrowing of your spinal column. Your spinal cord runs through a canal formed by your back bones (vertebrae).
When the spinal canal narrows, it may put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that branch from it. There are different types of spinal stenosis depending on the area of your back that’s affected. Cervical stenosis affects the spine in your neck, while lumbar stenosis occurs in your lower back.
What causes spinal stenosis?
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, a condition that involves wear-and-tear damage to your joints over time. Other causes of spinal stenosis include:
• Spinal injuries
• Paget’s disease
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• A naturally narrow spinal canal
• Past spinal surgery
• Scoliosis, or abnormal curvature of the spine
• Abnormal growths, such as bone tumors
Spinal stenosis usually affects adults over age 50, but people who were born with a narrow spinal canal may experience symptoms as early as age 30.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Many people with spinal stenosis don’t have any symptoms. When symptoms do develop, they typically start off mild and worsen over time. Which ones you experience depends on the location of your spinal stenosis, but may include:
• Low back or neck pain
• Leg or arm weakness
• Numbness and tingling in your arms, buttocks, or legs
Leaning forward or sitting may relieve low back pain if you have lumbar spinal stenosis.
How is spinal stenosis diagnosed and treated?
First, the team at Specialists in Spine Surgery carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history. They examine your spine and take diagnostic imaging tests, like an X-ray.
Then, they discuss your condition and explain the most appropriate treatments for you. Depending on the type and severity of your spinal stenosis, treatment may include:
• Physical therapy
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
• Steroid injections
If nonsurgical treatments don’t improve your pain and symptoms, you may be a candidate for surgery.
The team at Specialists in Spine Surgery has extensive experience with a wide range of procedures to treat spinal stenosis, including laminectomies and spinal fusions. They use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.
For expert care of spinal stenosis, call Specialists in Spine Surgery TODAY!
From Our Top Rated Health Staff