Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes a narrowing of your spine’s open spaces. This can cause pressure to be put on your spinal cord as well as the nerves that run through the spine and throughout your arms and legs.
Spinal stenosis may not cause any symptoms for some, while for others they might experience severe pain as well as muscle weakness, numbness, tingling and even bowel or bladder control issues.
It is common that until individuals are x-rayed that they might not even be aware of their spinal stenosis. When symptoms do begin to manifest, however, they start very gradually and usually get worse over the long-term. As with many chronic pain conditions, the symptoms will frequently vary and depend upon the stenosis location in thebody.
Some people are born with a narrow spinal canal but spinal stenosis has a variety of other causes as well:
Most commonly, it is people over the age of 50 that develop Spinal stenosis. When spinal stenosis occurs in younger populations of people it is typically as a result of a genetic disease that has had an effect on the muscle and bone development in the individual’s body.
The treatment of spinal stenosis depends on its location, severity of the pain the individual is experiencing, and other symptoms that a physician must assess.
Generally, doctors will prescribe some of the following medications:
When people have spinal stenosis they frequently can become less active because of their impaired mobility as a result of the pain that they’re experiencing. Physical therapists are often used when patients experience chronic pain disorders.
They usually have the goal of boosting your endurance and strength, helping you to maintain and increase the stability and flexibility of the spine as well as to improve balance.
Corticosteroid injections into nerve roots that are swollen and aggravated is an effective way of reducing inflammation and potentially relieving spinal pressure. These injections can be hit or miss, sometimes working well for one person and then not working at all for another. Also, most doctors will not provide repeated injections because of the potential that bones and connective tissue will be weakened. So, to the event that steroid injections are effective, if the pain keeps returning after a spell of relief, it is not advisable to keep returning for more and more injections. Surgery may become your next option.
Surgery is generally only considered for individuals that have gone through treatment courses of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory supplementation, opioid painkillers, and steroid injections. Surgery aims to alleviate pressure that the spinal cord and/or nerve roots are experiencing. Some of the typical surgical interventions for spinal stenosis include:
These space-creating procedures are designed to reduce the painful symptomology of spinal stenosis. While surgery for spinal stenosis is effective for some people, other people symptoms may continue to get worse post-surgery. Typical risks of surgical intervention include infection, membrane tears in the spinal cord’s covering, leg vein blood clots as well as neurological deterioration.
Spinal stenosis can be a little tricky to diagnose sometimes because its ailments frequently look like common issues that people experience as they age. Because of that, imaging tests are often essential in gathering the needed information to make an accurate diagnosis of spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis typically is diagnosed using x-rays, MRIs, as well as CT myelograms.
If you are experiencing back pain symptoms that resemble spinal stenosis, by all means consult with your local medical professional to receive a diagnosis.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, consider some of the recommendations that we have made in the treatment approaches section of this article. While is difficult to live with this painful condition, there are a variety of alternative treatment options available.
If you decide to have surgery, make sure you have exhausted all possible treatment options before taking this serious step. If you’ve had surgery and it is been a success, that’s great, but make sure that you concentrate on managing a spinal health going forward.
If you concentrate on lifestyle and dietary changes, you will significantly reduce the risk of reactivating your condition. If your surgery has not been successful and you are still experiencing pain, it will be best to utilize an integrative approach in conjunction with your doctors recommendations to develop a holistic intervention that can manage the pain you are likely in.