What Causes Spinal Stenosis? Spinal stenosis can be a natural result of aging, as the spinal canal becomes compressed through years of wear and tear. In other cases, spinal stenosis can be attributed to a specific cause such as an injury, accident, or a related spine condition such as a herniated disc.
Can a fall trigger spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a painful back condition that usually affects a person’s neck or lower spine. It is often caused by the trauma of a car crash or a slip and fall accident. Spinal stenosis results when the open spaces in the spine narrow, causing pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves leading to the arms and legs.
Can spinal stenosis come on suddenly?
Symptoms usually develop over time or may occur as a sudden onset of pain. You may feel a dull ache or sometimes sharp and severe pain in different areas, depending on which part of the spinal canal has narrowed. The pain may come and go or only occur during certain activities, like walking.
What causes spinal stenosis to flare up?
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, the gradual wear and tear that happens to your joints over time. Spinal stenosis is common because osteoarthritis begins to cause changes in most people’s spines by age 50. That’s why most people who develop symptoms of spinal stenosis are 50 or older.
Is spinal stenosis a spinal cord injury?
A minor injury can damage the spinal cord. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis can weaken the spine, which normally protects the spinal cord. Injury can also occur if the spinal canal protecting the spinal cord has become too narrow (spinal stenosis). This occurs during normal aging.
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.
Will spinal stenosis cripple you?
When spinal stenosis compresses the spinal cord in the neck, symptoms can be much more serious, including crippling muscle weakness in the arms and legs or even paralysis.
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.
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.
What is considered severe spinal stenosis?
When Spinal Stenosis Is Serious
If a spinal nerve or the spinal cord is compressed for long enough, permanent numbness and/or paralysis can occur.
What should I avoid with spinal stenosis?
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
- Avoid Excessive Back Extension. …
- Avoid Long Walks or Running. …
- Avoid Certain Stretches and Poses. …
- Avoid Loading a Rounded Back. …
- Avoid Too Much Bed Rest. …
- Avoid Contact Sports. …
- Consult a Physical Therapist. …
- Strengthen the Core and Hips.
How does spinal stenosis affect bowel movements?
Lumbar spinal stenosis, a condition characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back, can also cause back pain, weakness or numbness in your legs, and loss of bowel or bladder control.
Does a spinal cord injury shorten your life?
Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Life expectancy after injury ranges from 1.5 years for a ventilator-dependent patient older than 60 to 52.6 years for a 20-year-old patient with preserved motor function.