Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which gives way to abnormal pressure on the spinal cord and the various nerves that pass through the spine. This condition typically occurs in the neck and lower back. In some cases, there are no noticeable signs or symptoms of spinal stenosis. In other cases, those affected by spinal stenosis experience pain, numbness, muscle weakness, cramping, issues with bladder and bowel function, and in severe cases, paralysis. It usually stems from wear-and-tear associated with aging. Spinal stenosis in young people usually results from a genetic disease that affects bone and muscle development. Other causes include bone overgrowth such as the formation of bone spurs, herniated discs, thickened ligaments, tumors of other abnormal growths, and traumatic spinal injuries such as those resulting from car accidents. Some people may show signs of spinal stenosis on X-rays or other diagnostic imaging even if they do not experience symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they often get worse with time. Treatment of spinal stenosis may include medication for pain relief and muscle relaxation, physical therapy to improve strength and flexibility, steroid injections, and in severe cases, surgery. However, some people have reported that symptoms either stay the same or do not improve at all following surgery.