Conditions & Treatment

Spinal Stenosis

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

The spine or backbone enables you to stand and bend. It also protects the spinal cord an important part of the body. The spinal cord has important nerves passing through it. Spinal stenosis leads to narrowing in your spine. This can happen in the center of your spine or in the canals coming out of your spine and /or between the vertebrae. There is pressure created on the nerves and the spinal cord and it can lead to pain.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

The disease happens in people mostly above 50 but in younger people with a narrow spinal cord or spine injury there is the risk of this disease. There are certain diseases that can cause spinal stenosis like scoliosis and arthritis. There might be no symptoms at all or the symptoms might appear gradually. The symptoms that are common to spinal stenosis are pain in the neck or back, weakness or pain in arms or legs, numbness or foot problems. The disease can happen in the upper or lower back.

There can be numbness, pain, or cramping in legs, back, neck shoulders or arms. There can also be problems with bowel or bladder functioning. The disease is quite commonly caused by bone damage caused by osteo-arthritis. The most common problems in spinal stenosis are pain or cramping in your legs. The compressed nerves in your lower or lumbar spine can lead to a condition called claudication and cause pain or cramping in your legs when you are standing for long periods or walking. There is also radiating back and hip pain. A herniated disk can narrow down your spinal canal and lead to compression in the nerves in your lumbar spine.

The pain can start in your hip or buttocks and go down the back of your legs. The pain is very bad when you are sitting and affects only one side. There is a pain in your neck or shoulders. This occurs when the nerves in your neck are compressed. This pain may be chronic or only happen occasionally. The pain may extend into your arm or hand. There may be headaches, muscle weakness or a loss of sensation.

The pressure caused on the cervical spinal cord can lead to affecting the nerves that control your balance and this leads to clumsy gait and the tendency to fall. In severe cases the nerves in your bladder or the bowel are affected and lead to urinary or fecal problems. There are two types of spinal stenosis: primary spinal stenosis and acquired a spinal stenosis. The primmer spinal stenosis is relatively uncommon and may be present at birth.

Acquired spinal stenosis is the type that most patients of spinal stenosis have and develops later in life. If it occurs in people in advanced age that are a result of degenerative changes in the spine that occur with aging. Ligaments in your back can undergo degenerative changes and the loss of elasticity can narrow down the spinal cord and compress the nerve roots. These can lead to spinal stenosis.