What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis means narrowing of the spinal canal by putting pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves within the spine. It commonly occurs in neck or lower back. If untreated, this can lead to significant and permanent nerve damage including paralysis and death.

It can have no symptoms yet, one

  • Can feel pain while exercising in the back, leg, thighs, buttocks that worsen with standing.
  • Can feel abnormal walking, cramping or muscle weakness.
  • Can feel numbness in legs or reduced sensation of touch.

The two main type of Spinal Stenosis are

  • Cervical Stenosis – In this condition the narrowing occurs in the part of the spine in or closer to your neck.
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – In this condition, the narrowing occurs from the part of the spine in your lower back. It’s the most common form. It can affect the spine in three ways:-
  • The spinal cord can be squeezed in the spinal canal.
  • The space between vertebrae can decrease and put pressure on the nerves leaving the spine.
  • The bony canals that the nerve pass through when leaving the spine can become narrowed.

Can lifting cause spinal stenosis?

Along with osteoarthritis, you can also develop spinal stenosis from intervertebral disc problem. For example, you may lift a heavy object without using proper lifting techniques. This can damage a disc or even move the vertebrae out of their normal alignment. However it can also happen with no clear cause and generally related to age related wear and tear. Though, it is more prevalent amongst women.

How do you treat Spinal Stenosis?

Though it might be a hindrance in your active lifestyle yet you can incorporate several home treatments into your life, including

  • Applying hot or cold packs.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Exercising.
  • Using a crane or walker.

Other treatment options include

  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Receiving cortisol injections directly into the spinal column.
  • Laminectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Spinal Fusion.

So if you suspect of suffering from any or many of the above symptoms, contact a Spine specialist immediately.

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