Spinal stenosis is a condition that results from one or several bony openings in the spine becoming narrower. The narrowing of the spine reduces the space available for nerves, which get protection from adjacent bones and tissues. Spinal nerves send chemical messengers between the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of your body. Less space for spinal nerves compresses and damages or impairs them. When you have Roswell spinal stenosis, you may experience symptoms such as leg or arm numbness, weakness, lower back pain, imbalance during movement, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
If the narrowing of the spinal bones is minimal, you may not have any signs and symptoms of spinal stenosis.
Causes of spinal stenosis
One of the typical causes of spinal stenosis is aging. Naturally, as you grow older, tissues in the spine become thicker, leading to the expansion of bones that compress your spinal nerves. Also, some health conditions may cause the narrowing of the spinal space.
The health problems that may cause spinal stenosis are spinal osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, thickening of ligaments, Paget’s disease, and achondroplasia.
Osteoarthritis of the spine is a common type of spinal arthritis. The joint pain affects the lower back and comes from the wear and tear of the smooth cartilage that shields the facet joints. As a result, spinal bones begin rubbing against each other, leading to abnormal bone growth known as bone spurs. The formation of bone spurs and swelling causes the narrowing of the foramen.
A degenerative disc problem may cause discs to bulge or lose firmness and flatten, which puts pressure on the spinal canal.
Also called osteitis deformans, Paget’s disease of bone may also cause spinal bones to become weaker and enlarged. That may reduce the space available for spinal nerves.
Treatment options for spinal stenosis
Often, your health specialist may solve most cases of spinal narrowing nonsurgically.
Noninvasive treatment options at the disposal of your health provider include physical therapy, modification of your daily activities, medications, and epidural corticosteroid injections.
Your doctor may advise avoiding activities that may promote or cause spinal narrowing. Your doctor may require you to avoid walking straight for a period. Thus, you have to walk while bending or leaning, and you can use a shopping cart or a walker to support your position.
Also, you may have to use a stationary bike to exercise instead of walking.
Your doctor can also recommend wearing back or neck braces to limit the movement of your spinal system in a manner that causes pain and discomfort.
Medications may help alleviate the pain and inflammation of spinal narrowing. Short-term use of opioid drugs may also provide relief against severe symptoms of spinal stenosis.
If nonsurgical treatments do not deliver relief against spinal stenosis, your doctor may recommend surgery. Your doctor can use any available surgical procedures, such as laminectomy, foraminotomy, and microendoscopic decompression. Surgical procedures can help decompress the nerves and repair the underlying spinal problem.
Contact Apex Spine and Neurosurgery today if you have long-lasting neck or back pain.