Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the nerves within the spine.

There are two types of spinal stenosis, and the difference is the location of the condition on the spine. They are:

  • Cervical stenosis, in which the narrowing occurs in the portion of the spine that runs through the neck
  • Lumbar stenosis, in which the narrowing occurs in the part of the spine in the lower back. Lumbar is the most common form of spinal stenosis.

Symptoms

Some patients with this condition do not experience symptoms. If symptoms are present, they usually appear in small ways and gradually progress over time. Symptoms also vary depending on whether the narrowing of the spine occurs in the cervical or lumbar spine.

Cervical:

  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the hand, arm, foot, or leg
  • Difficulty with walking and balance
  • Neck pain
  • In severe cases, problems with bowel or bladder function

Lumbar:

  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the foot or leg
  • Pain or cramping in one or both legs when you stand for long periods or when walking, which usually eases when bending forward or sitting
  • Back pain

Treatment

There are many treatment options for spinal stenosis. Here are some of the therapies your doctor may recommend.

  • Medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, or opioids
  • Physical therapy can build up strength and endurance, maintain the flexibility of the spine, and improve balance
  • Steroid injections can reduce inflammation and help reduce pain
  • Massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture are alternative methods that can have a positive outcome
  • Surgery may be an option if other treatments are ineffective

If you would like to learn more about Spinal Stenosis or schedule a consultation, request an appointment with our expert physicians at NewSouth NeuroSpine.

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