Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within the lumber spine. Narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the lumbar spine to the legs. Several conditions, mostly degenerative, can cause spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine.
WHAT CAUSES LUMNAR SPINAL STENOSIS?
Stenosis is most often due to the degenerative condition osteoarthritis which naturally occurs with age related wear-and-tear. Osteoarthritic changes to the spine can lead to degeneration of discs that may then bulge or herniate or cause unnatural bone growth or bone spurs to form. All of these conditions can cause narrowing of the spinal canal therefore placing pressure on the spinal cord or compressing spinal nerve roots.
SYMPTOMS OF Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis can include:
- Lower back pain
- Leg pain
- Thigh or buttock pain
- Calf cramping or tightness
- Numbness in the legs or feet
- Muscle weakness
- Pain while walking or standing
The MISI Approach
Medical specialists use diagnostic imaging such as a MRI or CT scan to diagnose Lumbar Spinal stenosis. Conservative methods of treatment can include anti-inflammatory medications and/or physical therapy. For persistent pain that is not improving with conservative methods, injections or minimally invasive treatment options may be explored.