What is Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is generally defined as choking but it is not true. Spinal stenosis is different from choking in many terms. Spine is a row of 26 bones in your back that help you in standing and bend over. It also helps you to protect the spinal cord from getting hurt. Spinal stenosis is a disease of narrowing of spine. Spinal stenosis is of 2 types:

  • Lumbar stenosis: lumbar stenosis causes pain in lower back and is usually caused because of arthritis. It can cause sciatica pain which in turn causes weakness and numbness in legs, tingling in legs etc. Lumbar spinal stenosis gets worse if you walk and rest can give you relief from the pain.
  • Cervical stenosis: cervical stenosis is more serious condition. It can cause even paralysis and numbness in entire body.

Spinal stenosis can be caused due to:

  • Aging: spinal stenosis is very common in both men and women who are above the age of 50. With age, the bones of spine become bigger and weak.
  • Arthritis: arthritis is also one of the main causes that are responsible for spinal stenosis. If it is degenerative arthritis then it can cause spinal stenosis. There are two types of arthritis which can cause spinal stenosis in people:
    • Osteoarthritis: it is mostly found in elderly people. It does go away.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis: it is found in younger people and is not a common cause of spinal stenosis.
    • Inherited conditions: some people suffers from this disease because they are born with some problems that can cause spinal stenosis like some people are born with small apinal canal which can also be a cause for spinal stenosis.

Other causes of spinal stenosis can be injury in the spinal cord, tumor in spinal cord or it can be a genetic trait too. There can be numerous reasons behind the cause of this disease. The symptoms of spinal stenosis can be pain in the back, numbness, tingling and weakness in the legs, problems with bowels or bladder etc. It can be diagnosed through a physical exam. X-rays, MRI, CT scan, myelogram etc procedures can be used to know whether a person is suffering from this disease or not. According to the results, treatment can be given to the patient. Most of the doctors recommend surgery in order to get over this disease and to create space for the spinal cord and nerves. There are non surgical procedures too but if the condition gets worse, these procedures would not work. Your doctor is the one who can decide which treatment should be given to you.