Spine Stenosis Q & A
What is spine stenosis?
Spine stenosis is the narrowing of at least one area of the spine, typically in the neck or lower back. This narrowing often puts pressure on the spinal cord or spinal cord nerves, causing pain.
Spine stenosis starts slowly, with symptoms gradually becoming worse over time. However, some people may develop spinal stenosis without having any symptoms. Typical spine stenosis symptoms include cramping, weakness, numbness, or severe pain in the area of the neck, lower back, arms, hands, legs, calves, or feet. These usually exacerbate when you walk up or down an incline and get better when you lean over or sit down.
In some cases, spine stenosis can also cause bladder or bowel dysfunction, or loss of sexual function. In severe cases, it can even cause partial or complete paralysis.
What causes spine stenosis?
Some of the most common causes of spine stenosis include:
Osteoarthritis and other age-related changes
Bone spurs or bone overgrowth
Spinal cord tumors
Spinal injuries such as those caused by car accidents
Beyond these, some people develop spine stenosis because they were born with a narrow spinal canal. In this case, they have what is known as congenital stenosis.
What treatments are available for spine stenosis?
The team at Legacy Brain & Spine offers different treatments for spine stenosis that vary based on the location and severity of your condition. These include:
During physical therapy for spine stenosis, your physical therapist, who is a key member of our practice team, will establish a regular exercise routine adapted to your needs. The sequence will include workouts that strengthen your upper legs and arms, depending on whether your stenosis is located in your lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) spine. By focusing on these muscles, your therapist will help you reduce your pain by gaining more control over your balance and ability to walk, bend, and twist.
Epidural steroid injections (EPIs)
In case physical therapy alone cannot resolve your stenosis-associated pain, you may be prescribed an EPI treatment. EPIs work by decreasing inflammation and providing pain relief in the affected area and are administered by one of our highly trained specialized physicians.
Decompression laminectomy surgery
Our practice reserves this option for patients suffering from severe pain that originates with bone buildup in the spinal canal. This minimally invasive procedure relieves pressure on your spinal cord and nerves and is performed at our state-of-the-art outpatient surgical center.
Don’t let spine stenosis stand in the way of you enjoying life to the fullest. To learn more about your treatment options at Legacy Brain & Spine, call or reserve a spot in our online booking tool today.