It may be a common problem, but spinal stenosis often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The symptoms are frequently dismissed as part of the aging process, but they should not be ignored. Chronic pain is debilitating.
What can be mistaken for spinal stenosis?
But here’s the catch: other conditions, including polyneuropathy, myopathy, and joint pain from osteoarthritis, can mimic spinal stenosis symptoms-which can lead to painful, expensive, and unnecessary surgery.
What is similar to spinal stenosis?
Conditions with symptoms similar to those of lumbar (low back) spinal stenosis include: Low back pain . A herniated disc in the low back. Peripheral arterial disease .
How do you prove spinal stenosis?
How is lumbar spinal stenosis diagnosed?
- X-rays of your lumbar spine. These may show bone growths called spurs that push on spinal nerves and/or narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Imaging tests. A CT scan or MRI scan can give a more detailed look at the spinal canal and nerve structures.
- Other studies.
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 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.
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.
How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?
Nonsurgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
- 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. …
- Corticosteroids. …
How do you know if you have spinal stenosis or sciatica?
Symptoms of spinal stenosis stemming from the neck may include pain throughout the upper body, muscle weakness, or loss of coordination in the arms and hands. Sciatica is a condition of radiating pain throughout the lower back, hip, and leg. This pain is brought on by sciatic nerve compression.
Can you reverse spinal stenosis naturally?
There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. If they don’t do the trick, your doctor can prescribe higher-dose medication. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone injections.
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.
Is massage good for spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis constricts the spine by narrowing the spinal canal and stresses everything nearby, tightening and straining muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage loosens and relaxes affected muscles, bringing an amazing sense of relief.
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.