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.
What does thinning of the spine mean?
Spinal stenosis — also called vertebral stenosis — is a condition in which spaces in your spine become too narrow (the term “stenosis” refers to narrowing of any passage in the body). As a result, bones or other parts of the spine start pressing on your spinal cord and other nerves.
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 go away?
Most patients with stenosis will not need surgery and the condition can resolve on its own with time, or with the help of medications and injections.
What can happen if spinal stenosis is left 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.
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.
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.
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).
Can you live with severe 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.
Why Is spinal stenosis so painful?
As the nerve roots connected to the spinal cord, or the cord itself, are squeezed, communication between brain and body get distorted or disrupted, so that the brain perceives impulses originating at the site of stenosis as pain signals from the legs or feet.
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 a heating pad good for spinal stenosis?
Heating over tight muscles in the lower back is often an effective way to achieve relief from spinal stenosis pain, as heating relaxes the muscles. Heating the affected area stimulates blood flow, which promotes and accelerates the healing process.
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.
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. …
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.