Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing is often caused by the natural aging process, but can also be seen in patients suffering from degeneration and congenital spinal conditions. Though most patients never experience pain from their spinal stenosis, in some cases the associated symptoms may be severe.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is caused by a number of common degenerative conditions. As we age, elements that make up the spinal column begin to degenerate and decompose. As this occurs, the spinal canal may narrow due to disc material or bone spurs. This narrowing causes compression on spinal nerves, resulting in spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Though painless in some cases, spinal stenosis may cause a number of patients to experience severe pain and uncomfortable symptoms. Depending on the area of the narrowing, patients may experience some or all of the below symptoms in their back, neck, arms or legs. Some of the most commonly treated symptoms related to spinal stenosis include:
- Inability to sit or stand for long periods of time
- Pain in legs at night
- Radiating pain
- An electrical sensation in the arms and legs
- Localized pain
Spinal stenosis is most commonly seen in two areas, the back and the neck.
Stenosis in the Back
can cause patients to experience pain or symptoms in the legs or feet. Generally these symptoms include numbness, weakness, tingling and radiating pain in the legs or feet.
The MISI Approach to treating Spinal Stenosis
At the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute it is our primary goal to help as many patients find relief from their chronic or severe spinal stenosis pain as possible. However, before recommending surgery, we always urge patients to explore the conservative treatment options available to them. Many patients suffering from spinal stenosis have been able to find relief from conservative treatments such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, medication, injection therapy and low-impact exercise. If these options have failed to bring you relief, our highly trained minimally invasive spine surgeons are able to perform spinal stenosis procedures at the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute to help alleviate your symptoms while getting you back to life as quickly and safely as possible.
Dr. Bryce Benbow has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.