Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Spinal stenosis is a condition that involves a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is the space that surrounds the spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of your body. The spinal canal runs through your spine and contains bones, ligaments and soft tissues.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis often get worse with activity, like walking. You may be able to prevent further progression of this condition by following your doctor's treatment recommendations.
Spinal stenosis is diagnosed by physical examination and diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography scan (CT scan).
Symptoms of spinal stenosis
While the symptoms of spinal stenosis vary from person to person, they may include:
Pain. This is the most common symptom of spinal stenosis and can be felt in the back or neck area. The pain may be sharp, burning or throbbing. It may also feel like an ache that doesn't go away or gets worse with time and activity
Numbness or tingling in your legs and feet is also common with this condition. You might feel like you're walking on cotton balls due to compression on your spinal cord by bone spurs (osteophytes) or excess tissue pressing down on it from bulging disks nearby (herniated disks). Tingling sensations can occur in other areas of your body like arms, hands and face as well!
Muscle weakness in arms/legs/neck is another symptom commonly associated with spinal stenosis
Factors that may contribute to spinal stenosis
Factors that may contribute to spinal stenosis include aging and arthritis.
Other factors that can lead to spinal stenosis include obesity, smoking, previous back injuries, and congenital defects.
If you have spinal stenosis, you may be able to improve your symptoms with less invasive treatments. These can include, chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage and medications from your physician.
In rare cases, people with severe spinal stenosis may need surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord:
-If you have severe spinal stenosis, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Surgery for spinal stenosis can be performed with a minimally invasive procedure called a percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD). During this operation, the surgeon makes a small incision in your back and inserts a thin tube-shaped telescope through it. The telescope is used to remove part of an intervertebral disc that is compressing your nerve roots. A small computer screen allows the doctor to see inside your spine as he works.
-Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) is usually done under general anesthesia with epidural block or monitored anesthesia care (MAC). It takes about 90 minutes on average and can be performed in an outpatient surgery center or hospital operating room. Afterward, you'll need someone to drive you home until postoperative pain subsides; most people stay in bed for 24 hours after having this type of procedure done, but some may need more time than this before they're able to get up again.
Spinal stenosis is a common condition that can usually be treated with conservative therapies. If you have spinal stenosis, it’s important to know your options so that you can make an informed decision about how best to manage your symptoms. It's important to talk with your doctor before making any decisions about treatment options so that you can come up with the best plan for your condition.