Primarily, spinal stenosis and the accompanying arthritis are the result of the normal aging process. The gelatinous discs that cushion the vertebrae in the spine begin to dry out as we age, resulting in shortened disc height. This puts pressure on the facet joints.
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 cause joint pain?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when cartilage breaks down. The lack of cushioning forces bones to rub together and causes pain, stiffness, and swelling. As osteoarthritis symptoms worse, a condition called spinal stenosis can develop.
Can spinal stenosis cause permanent damage?
Without treatment, spinal stenosis may lead to permanent nerve damage. Stenosis may develop in any part of the spine, though it is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine) or in the neck (cervical spine).
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.
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 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.
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. …
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.
Which is worse spondylosis or stenosis?
Lumbar canal stenosis causes a syndrome known as neurogenic claudication, which is pain in the backs of the calves and legs, that is often worse with walking and standing and relieved by sitting down. The symptoms of lumbar spondylosis are usually progressive and get worse with time.
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.
Can you see spinal stenosis on MRI?
Since spinal stenosis is a gradual onset condition, the symptoms tend to start slowly and worsen over time. In fact, spinal stenosis may appear on an MRI or a CT scan without the patient having any symptoms at all.
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.
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).