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.
Can spinal stenosis be caused by an injury?
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.
What kind of trauma causes spinal stenosis?
Injury to the spine can also cause spinal stenosis. For example, you may lift a heavy object without using proper lifting techniques. This can damage a disc or even move the vertebrae out of their normal alignment. Such injuries will put pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Does spinal stenosis happen suddenly?
If you have spinal stenosis, your symptoms may develop gradually or suddenly. In general, the symptoms of spinal stenosis usually worsen over time. The pain can be a dull ache or a more sharp, severe pain.
What activities aggravate spinal stenosis?
Avoid Long Walks or Running
The repeated trauma to the knees and spine is less than ideal. On the other hand, walking for long periods of time – or long distances, instead – can also exacerbate back pain.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.