The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of spinal stenosis. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves in that area. It typically develops later in life and is more common in people over the age of 50. Although relatively rare, spinal stenosis can be congenital (present at birth).
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is often a result of degeneration of the spine caused by aging. In some cases, it may be caused by a herniated disc, arthritis of the spine, or injury. Tumors in the spine and bone diseases may also lead to spinal stenosis.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Pain or numbness in the lower back, thighs, and buttocks
- Pain or numbness in the neck, arms, and shoulders
- Increased pain when standing or walking
- Weakness in the arm or leg
How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct complete physical and neurological exams and may order additional tests such as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or bone scans.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
Non-surgical treatment recommendations for spinal stenosis may include physical therapy, traction or bracing, cortisone injections, acupuncture, or chiropractic adjustment. In addition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, may be used to help reduce your pain and inflammation.
When spinal stenosis does not respond to initial treatment and it begins to interfere with your daily activities, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure on your spinal cord. There are several surgical treatment options, and your Hurley physician can make a recommendation based on your particular case.