Symptoms of Spinal stenosis are lower back pain as well as pain in legs, frequent falling, clumsiness, pain and difficulty while walking, hot or cold feelings in the legs, and numbness. In case of cervical spine, pain and numbness radiates into the arms.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that is caused by a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord and the nerves become compressed. When the nerves are compressed, abnormal signals are sent to and from the brain, or sometimes the signals don't get past the area of compression. Therefore, patients with spinal stenosis may experience pain, numbness or weakness.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing spaces in the spine. This causes pressure in the spinal cord and nerve. In the majority cases the symptoms gradually worsen with time. This is because degenerative arthritis is a progressive disease that slowly becomes more severe with time. If left untreated, the compression on the nerves from lumbar spinal stenosis can lead to mounting weakness and loss of function of the legs. Spinal stenosis can cause cramping, pain or numbness in back, legs, neck and arms. Other symptoms may occur in the case of spinal stenosis, like bowel or bladder dysfunction, loss of sensation, including in your extremities. There is also another type of stenosis called Acquired stenosis; it usually affects people with 60 years old or over.
Screening and Diagnosis
Spinal stenosis can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be caused by other conditions. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform some medical exams that may include peripheral pulses, range of motion and leg reflexes. The ultimate diagnosis of spinal stenosis is made with by MRI or CT scan.
Treatments for Spinal Stenosis
Physical therapy is an important part of non surgical treatment for spinal stenosis. Surgery is recommended in case of failure of conventional treatment process, and for patients with increasing weakness of legs and bowel and bladder function. Surgery includes spinal decompression, to enlarge spinal canal and to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord, or nerve roots.