Can you live with severe spinal stenosis?

“The symptoms of spinal stenosis typically respond to conservative treatments, including physical therapy and injections.” Dr. Hennenhoefer says you can live a normal life with a spinal stenosis diagnosis and can work on improving your mobility and comfort.

What are the final stages of spinal stenosis?

Constant pain and/or numbness in your legs while standing. Increased pain and/or numbness in your legs while walking variable distances and/or while bending the spine backward. Difficulty in performing upright exercises or activities. Improvement or resolution of pain and/or numbness with rest.

What happens if you let spinal stenosis go untreated?

It occurs from spinal stenosis that causes pressure on the spinal cord. If untreated, this can lead to significant and permanent nerve damage including paralysis and death. Symptoms may affect your gait and balance, dexterity, grip strength and bowel or bladder function.

Can spinal stenosis lead to death?

Spinal stenosis can result in significant morbidity. Severe disability and death may result from the association of cervical stenosis with even minor trauma resulting in the central cord syndrome. Both upper (cervical) and lower (lumbar) spinal stenosis may result in motor weakness and chronic pain.

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Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

The symptoms are often so gradual, that patients seek medical attention very late in the course of this condition. Patients may be so disabled and weak that they require the use of a wheelchair for mobility. In rare instances, severe spinal stenosis can cause paraplegia and/or bowel/bladder incontinence.

How fast does spinal stenosis progress?

Spinal stenosis is generally not progressive. The pain tends to come and go, but it usually does not progress with time. The natural history with spinal stenosis, in the majority of patients, is that of episodic periods of pain and dysfunction.

Is spinal stenosis a crippling disease?

Depending on its severity, untreated stenosis can become debilitating or even fatal. Mild cases of spinal stenosis can be treated through symptom management. For severe cases, especially those that affect quality of life or the nervous system, doctors might recommend surgery.

Does severe spinal stenosis require surgery?

Most patients with cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments (such as medication), so you may not need spine surgery. However, there are situations when you may want to go ahead with spine surgery.

Does spinal stenosis shorten your life?

Answer: Yes, you do have to live with it for the rest of your life. However, many patients with spinal stenosis live life in the absence of pain or with minimal symptoms.

How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?

Nonsurgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

  1. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—commonly called NSAIDs—relieve pain by reducing inflammation of nerve roots and spine joints, thereby creating more space in the spinal canal. …
  2. Corticosteroids. …
  3. Neuroleptics.
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How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?

What can I do to prevent lumbar spinal stenosis?

  1. Get regular exercise. Exercise strengthens the muscles that support your lower back and helps keep your spine flexible. …
  2. Maintain good posture. Learn how to safely lift heavy objects. …
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.

Can stenosis cripple you?

Disability: In severe cases of spinal stenosis, a patient can end up permanently disabled. This may be through paralysis, or weakness so severe that it is impossible to stand and move as normal. It is not unreasonable to expect severe stenosis to lead to a person being bound to a wheelchair.

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