Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. It is a medical condition in which the spinal canal starts to narrow. Spinal Stenosis occurs because of osteoarthritis; it causes bone spurs to grow on the vertebrae, which extend into the spinal canal and put pressure on nerve roots.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The most common symptoms of Spinal Stenosis are:
- Neck pain.
- Shooting pain in the leg, which is commonly called Sciatica.
- Intense weakness in the legs, which causes an individual to drag their feet or slap their feet on the ground (drop foot).
- Inability to stand or walk because of intense pain.
- Inability to control bladder and bowel movements. (only in extreme cases).
Treatments of Spinal Stenosis
The symptoms of spinal Stenosis are similar to the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which is caused by the improper movement of the sacroiliac SI joint.
A doctor will determine the presence of spinal Stenosis through X-ray, CT Scan, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tests (MRI).
If you are diagnosed with the condition, the surgeon will first determine the severity of the condition. Spinal stenosis stages are categorized from 1-4. Commonly, the first line of treatment for all stages is nonsurgical treatment options, which include: pain medication, Corticosteroid injections, Anesthetics, physical therapy and exercise, and assistive medical devices.
Doctors and neurosurgeons recommend surgical solutions for spinal Stenosis if the symptoms are extreme, and they continue to worsen even after availing conservative treatment options. Neurosurgeons will recommend minimally invasive spine surgery procedures like Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, or Laminotomy, which removes part or whole of the vertebrae to create space in the narrowed spinal cavity.
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Is Spinal Stenosis a Serious Condition?
- Yes, it is a serious condition because it exerts pressure on the spinal cord.
- If you leave it untreated, then you are at a higher risk of getting paralyzed as a result of nerve damage.
What Is the Best Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?
- There is, as such, no ultimate cure to treat spinal stenosis condition.
- But you can avail of its treatments as they help in relieving pain and inflammation.
- If you are unable to escape pain symptoms even after opting for treatment options, then your specialist may prescribe your medications with a higher dosage or minimally-invasive surgery.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
Some of the most common causes associated with Spinal Stenosis include:
- Spinal Stenosis mostly occurs as a result of the aging process.
- Thickening of the tissues.
- Deformation of bones.
- Compression of the nerves.
- If you are already dealing with conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, then they may also become a factor in the contribution of spinal Stenosis.
What activities should be avoided with spinal Stenosis?
You should avoid following activities in case if you are suffering from spinal stenosis condition:
- High impact activities including exercise and jogging.
- Avoid all sports related activities.
- Do not walk or stand for longer durations.