Spinal stenosis describes narrowing of the spinal canal

Spinal stenosis describes narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can involve the spinal cord (central stenosis) or the nerve roots as they exit the spine (lateral stenosis).

Spinal stenosis can occur at any level of the spine but is typically seen in the neck and low back. Symptoms will range from generalized back or neck pain to tingling sensations/shooting pain into the arms and legs.

In this article, we provide some resources for you to learn a little more about the condition of spinal stenosis and some of the best ways to treat it.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Here are a couple of articles and videos that will help you learn a little more about spinal stenosis and how to treat it more effectively.

Spine Universe has a comprehensive library on spinal stenosis. Here’s a good article that describes spinal stenosis…

Understanding spinal stenosis begins with a Greek lesson: stenosis means “a narrowing.” So spinal stenosis is a narrowing of your spine. In a more detailed explanation, spinal stenosis is when the channels that your spinal cord and nerve roots travel through become narrower-so narrow that your spinal cord and nerve roots get squeezed. Doctors often call this squeezing “compression.”

“Squeezed spinal cord and nerves” doesn’t sound pleasant, and really, spinal stenosis isn’t. It can lead to pain in your lower back, legs, neck, arms, or hands. It all depends on where in your back your spinal cord and/or nerves are getting squeezed.

Spinal stenosis can happen anywhere in your spine, but it’s most likely to happen in your low back (lumbar spine) or in your neck (cervical spine). It makes sense that if the stenosis is in your low back, it’s called lumbar spinal stenosis; if it’s in your neck, it’s cervical spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is quite common because changes in the spine—like this narrowing—are a natural part of growing older. Of course, that doesn’t mean that only older people will get spinal stenosis, or that everyone will get spinal stenosis as they age, but it is more common in older people.

Here’s an amazing thing about spinal stenosis: it may not even cause you pain. The channels in your spine may narrow, but they might not press on your spinal cord or nerve roots. No pressing means no pain.

But not everyone’s spinal stenosis is so conveniently placed. Maybe you’re one of those people who has trouble walking, or maybe the problem is headaches, arm numbness, or muscle weakness. There are many ways that you can feel spinal stenosis.

Rest assured, though: there are ways to deal with your pain from spinal stenosis. (Read entire article)

Here’s another article on spinal stenosis by Malton A. Schexneider, PT, MMSc, a clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy…

Spinal stenosis is a term used to describe narrowing of the bony canal surrounding either the spinal cord or the opening through which the spinal nerve exits the spine. Narrowing within the spinal canal is referred to as central stenosis while narrowing of the opening through which the spinal nerve exits is called lateral stenosis. In either case, spinal stenosis is a consequence of the degenerative changes that take place within the spine as a natural course of aging.

Causes
Spinal stenosis can be the result of congenital (being born with it) or developmental factors. In some cases, both factors play a role in the process. Some of the developmental factors include:

  • Spinal fracture
  • Degenerative changes in the spine
  • Scar tissue formation following surgery
  • Spinal instability
  • Disc herniation

(Read full article here)

Spinal Stenosis Videos

Dr. Jeffrey Wang, an orthopaedic surgeon and professor at UCLA, explains, in a nice video, the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for spinal stenosis. (Click here to watch the video)

And in this video, you’ll learn 3 simple exercises for spinal stenosis. (Click here to watch the video)

Would you like to receive more information on spinal stenosis? We’re putting together a comprehensive booklet on spinal stenosis and we’d love to send you one. Just leave a comment below indicating your desire to learn more and we’ll make sure you get on the list to get a personal copy of our Patients’ Guide To Spinal Stenosis when its ready.

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