Aging can change the skeletal system. For example, spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by regular wear-and-tear changes in the spine as you age. “Almost everyone gets this degenerative disease of the spine as part of the aging process.
Is spinal stenosis a normal part of aging?
As we age, the normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal nerves and spinal cord. This condition is called spinal stenosis. Degenerative changes of the spine are seen in up to 95% of people by the age of 50.
How do I avoid spinal stenosis?
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.
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.
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. …
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 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).
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.
Can you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?
You obviously can’t prevent that, but spinal stenosis prevention is about practicing certain habits to improve and maintain your spine health. If you already have spinal stenosis, getting regular exercise and using proper body mechanics may help reduce the chances of your spinal stenosis from becoming worse.
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 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.
What is the best thing to do for spinal stenosis?
Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can help reduce pain and inflammation. Applying hot or cold packs. Some symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis may be relieved by applying heat or ice to your neck.
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.