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What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that affects your spine, causing the narrowing of your spinal canal. Your spine supports your body and allows you to walk upright. It consists of vertebrae, which are bones that provide stability and protect your spinal cord. Discs are located between vertebrae to cushion them and prevent friction. There are also nerves connecting your spinal cord with other parts of your body. When you suffer from spinal stenosis, your spinal canal can narrow for a number of reasons. As a result, this can put pressure on your nerves, resulting in a variety of symptoms. Read on to discover the most common symptoms of spinal stenosis, what causes them, and where to get the best treatment.

What Are the Most Common Spinal Stenosis Symptoms?

The symptoms of spinal stenosis depend on the severity of the condition and affected nerves. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, and for others, they may come and go periodically. However, most people with spinal stenosis experience symptoms that usually worsen over time.   The most common spinal stenosis symptoms include:
  • Low back pain
  • Leg or arm weakness
  • Radiating pain that originates in the lower back and travels through your legs
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Coordination issues
  • Frequent cramps
  • Difficulties maintaining balance
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
The symptoms depend on the affected part of the spinal canal. Most people experience spinal stenosis in the lower back (lumbar) or neck (cervical) region of the spine.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

The spinal canal usually narrows gradually due to an underlying condition. Sometimes, it can result from an injury or trauma, and the affected person experiences the symptoms immediately. Otherwise, the symptoms progress over time. The most common conditions causing spinal stenosis include osteoarthritis, bone overgrowth, herniated discs, and thickened ligaments. 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the usual cause of spinal stenosis, mainly affecting people over 50 years of age. Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage that normally protects the end of your bones wears down due to everyday wear and tear. As a result of cartilage breakdown, bone spurs can occur, causing the narrowing of the spinal canal.

Bone Overgrowth

When your vertebrae are under a lot of pressure, it can cause minor damage. This is a signal to your body that it needs to strengthen the spine, so it stimulates the production of bone tissue. That can cause bone overgrowth that narrows the spinal canal and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Herniated Discs

Your spinal discs normally cushion the vertebrae. However, they can sometimes slip out of place, causing spinal stenosis. The most common causes are injury and age-related wear and tear.

Thickened Ligaments

Ligaments are bands of elastic tissues that connect your bones and stabilize your joints. Inflammation and injuries can cause ligaments to lose elasticity and thicken, which can obstruct the spinal canal and cause spinal stenosis.

Where to Get Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?

If you have symptoms or are diagnosed with spinal stenosis, you need adequate treatment. At Space City Pain Specialists, we specialize in dealing with conditions causing pain, including spinal stenosis. Here we use a range of innovative therapies that can help reduce the pain and other symptoms. Click here to request an appointment with one of our pain specialists and discover how you can deal with spinal stenosis.

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