Lumbar Stenosis is a contraction of the lumbar spinal canal; it’s a condition in which the space within the lumbar spine contracts, flattening the nerves moving through the lower back into the legs. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is commonly caused by degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Lumbar Stenosis
The symptoms of Lumbar stenosis manifest gradually; they will start slowly and then worsen over time. The Lumbar Spine is situated at the lower back; therefore, symptoms affect the lower back, buttocks, legs, and even feet.
- Soreness, fatigue or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks.
- Cramping in calves while walking.
- Pain and cramps in both legs while walking. Pain is relieved upon sitting or bending forward.
- Weakness and numbness in leg or foot.
- Back Pain.
- Loss of Sensation in the legs.
- Poor function of the bladder.
Treatments for Lumbar Stenosis
The symptoms of Lumbar stenosis are easily confused with other spinal conditions such as lumbar degenerative disc disease or Lumbar Herniated Disc. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis is imperative for effective treatment.
Neurosurgeons diagnose Lumbar stenosis by taking a medical history, conducting a careful physical examination, and observing the symptoms. They often recommend CT scans, X-ray, or MRI to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, the surgeons determine the stage of the spinal stenosis. If in early stages, non-surgical treatments are prescribed.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Medication includes pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and Opioids.
- Surgeons may recommend physical therapy to build stamina, develop endurance, build up strength, and increase the stability of your spine. In some cases, PT may worsen the pain; therefore, it must only be adopted after a surgeon’s recommendation.
- When the spinal canal narrows, the bones of the vertebrae press the spinal nerve roots, which may cause them to become irritated and inflamed, if the inflammation is not alleviated by non-steroidal medication, steroid injections may be recommended.
Surgical Treatments for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Surgical Decompression.
- Lumbar Laminectomy.
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What Should I Avoid With Spinal Stenosis?
You must avoid the following activities in case if you are suffering from spinal stenosis:
- Avoid jumping or jogging.
- Avoid all kinds of sports-related activities.
- Do not walk or stand for long durations.
What Happens If Spinal Stenosis Is Left Untreated?
- If you leave it untreated, then it may cause permanent nerve damage that ultimately leads to paralysis.
- In severe cases, the function of the bowel or bladder gets disturbed.
What Is the Best Treatment for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?
Some most effective treatment option to get recovered from lumbar spinal stenosis includes:
- Exercise and physical therapy.
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
- Use of cortisone injections.
- Minimally-Invasive lumbar spine surgery.