What is the most common level of spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the result of congenital or acquired narrowing of the spinal canal. It occurs most commonly at the L5 vertebral level, with women affected more commonly than men (Fig. 84.1). Clinically, spinal stenosis usually manifests in a characteristic manner as pain and weakness in the legs when walking.

Are there different levels of spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can occur at one level or multiples levels at the same time. 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.

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 are the levels of stenosis?

The two general types of spinal stenosis are foraminal stenosis, also called lateral stenosis, which involves compression or inflammation of a spinal nerve; and central canal stenosis, which involves compression or inflammation of the spinal cord.

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What is narrowing of L4 and L5?

Degenerative subluxation of lumbar vertebrae (spondylolisthesis) is another cause of acquired stenosis of the lumbar spinal canal, particularly at the L4 and L5 levels, and may manifest clinically with neurogenic intermittent claudication as well.

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.

How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?

What can I do to prevent lumbar spinal stenosis?

  1. Get regular exercise. Exercise strengthens the muscles that support your lower back and helps keep your spine flexible. …
  2. Maintain good posture. Learn how to safely lift heavy objects. …
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.

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.

How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?

Nonsurgical Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

  1. 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. …
  2. Corticosteroids. …
  3. Neuroleptics.
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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 stenosis be reversed?

While spinal stenosis can’t be reversed, treatment is available to address your pain.

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.

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.

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.
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