Spinal Stenosis is categorized by the narrowing of the canal that contains the spinal cord.
This narrowing can result in increased pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots that exit the spine. This pressure or irritation of the spinal nerve roots is what causes the pain and discomfort associated with Spinal Stenosis. In some instances, bone spurs may form and increase the pressure on the spinal nerves causing more severe symptoms.
The onset of spinal stenosis is most often a result of the aging process and may begin naturally to those in their 40’s and 50’s. However, Spinal Stenosis may have an early onset as a result of certain genetic conditions, trauma or arthritic conditions. Spinal Stenosis can occur in both the cervical (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) but is more common in the lumbar spine. Lumbar spinal stenosis is often an underlying cause of what is known as Sciatica.
Spinal Stenosis of the cervical spine may require more immediate medical attention as it may compress the spinal cord and cause neurological effects.
Signs and symptoms Spinal Stenosis may include:
- Pain in lumbar or cervical spine
- Pain that radiates into the extremities (radiculopathy)
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction