Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. Some people with spinal stenosis may not have symptoms.
What does it mean when your spine is shrinking?
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) affects the discs that separate the spine bones. As you age, the spine begins to show signs of wear and tear as the discs dry out and shrink. These age-related changes can lead to arthritis, disc herniation, or spinal stenosis. Pressure on the spinal cord and nerves may cause pain.
Can you live a normal life with spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis can’t be cured but responds to treatment
“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.
Can spinal stenosis be cured?
Treatment usually starts with nonsurgical options and may move to surgical options if other methods no longer relieve your pain. Although there is no cure for spinal stenosis, exercise to keep your muscles strong, improve your flexibility and reduce pain.
Can you become paralyzed from degenerative disc disease?
A severely herniated disc can cause paralysis. Disc herniation is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine).
What causes a weak spine?
Age-related changes to the spine are the main cause of spinal stenosis. Aging bones and ligaments of your spine may gradually get thicker and stiffer, leaving less space between them. Bone spurs that press on the spine and nerves may also develop.
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.
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.
How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?
What can I do to prevent lumbar spinal stenosis?
- Get regular exercise. Exercise strengthens the muscles that support your lower back and helps keep your spine flexible. …
- Maintain good posture. Learn how to safely lift heavy objects. …
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Is spinal stenosis a death sentence?
Myelopathy describes any neurologic symptoms related to the spinal cord and is a serious condition. 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.
What is the latest treatment for spinal stenosis?
VertiFlex™ Superion™ Another treatment option for lumbar spinal stenosis, if it doesn’t respond to other pain management techniques, is a procedure that increases the space in your spinal column without surgically removing the lamina or spinal bone.. In this treatment, Dr.
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.
Does spinal stenosis hurt all the time?
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 walking bad for spinal stenosis?
Walking is a suitable exercise for you if you have spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and you can easily vary the pace as needed. Consider a daily walk (perhaps on your lunch break or as soon as you get home).
Is spinal stenosis a form of arthritis?
Arthritis is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. While spinal stenosis can affect younger patients, it is most common in those 60 and older.