Spinal stenosis is a condition due to narrowing of the spinal cord causing nerve pinching which can lead to persistent pain in the buttocks, limping, lack of feeling in the lower extremities, and decreased physical activity.
There are two types of spinal stenosis: lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis. 75% of cases of spinal stenosis occur in the lumbar spine (low back), which is called lumbar spinal stenosis, and most will affect the sciatic nerve which runs along the back of the leg. When this happens, it is commonly called sciatica. While lumbar spinal stenosis is more common, cervical spinal stenosis is often more dangerous because it involves compression of the spinal cord.
- In lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed; this can produce tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs – especially with activity.
- Spinal stenosis pain in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis) can be far more dangerous by compressing the spinal cord. It can lead to major body weakness or even paralysis.
Virtually the entire adult population faces degenerative stenosis because it is a result of the natural process of aging. It is a degenerative narrowing of the spinal canal that results in compression of spinal nerves and nerve roots, causing myriad symptoms including lower back pain and lower extremity pain.
Congenital lumbar stenosis is relatively rare and usually presents at an early age, often between 30 and 40. It is a puzzling condition that can’t be predicted or prevented.
- MRI scan or CT scans
- X-Rays to detect the growth of bone spurs
- Physical Exam
Treatment will usually involve exhausting all conservative treatment approaches first, using a combination of rest, support devices, physical therapy, and pain medications. If pain continues, a surgical procedure may be pursued.
If you suffer from back or neck pain, contact Dr. Wesley Johnson for a consultation. He can help you get to the root of the problem and work to find the best solution for you.
Read more online at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spinalstenosis.html