What to do if you have spinal stenosis
First of all, let’s consider what spinal stenosis is. There are two major types of spinal stenosis: cervical and lumbar stenosis.
- Cervical stenosis is a narrowing of your spine near your neck.
- Lumbar stenosis affects your spine in your lower back. Again, it is a narrowing of part of your spine.
Basically, spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces between the vertebrae in the spine. This narrowing can result in more pressure being applied to the nerves that go through the spine. Not everyone with spinal stenosis experience symptoms which can include: –
- a tingling sensation
- weakened muscles and
As time passes the symptoms you experience can get worse. Spinal stenosis often accompanies osteoarthritis, and it is caused because of the general wear and tear of your ageing spine.
Other possible causes of spinal stenosis
You may have been born with a small spinal canal, which isn’t very common, but in most instances, spinal stenosis is caused by:
- Bone overgrowth. This happens when bone spurs form due to general wear and tear and damage caused by osteoarthritis. These spurs can bury themselves in the spinal canal. Another cause of bone overgrowth is Paget’s disease, which adults can be affected by.
- Herniated discs. These act as shock absorbers for the spine. These soft cushion-like structures between your vertebrae can dry out with age. Cracks in the outer parts of the disc can allow the discs’ soft inner material of to escape. If it does it will press on the nerves and spinal cord.
- Thickened ligaments. Ligaments are tough cords that are designed to hold the vertebrae together. They may grow thick and stiff with the passage of time. Thickened ligaments may bulge into the spinal canal.
- Tumours which may form in the interior of the spinal cord. However, these are rare
- Injuries to the spine. Vertebrae can become dislodged or fractured, perhaps caused by an accident. Pieces of bone from a spinal fracture can damage the contents inside the spinal canal.
People over the age of fifty are most likely to suffer from spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis
Depending on where your spinal stenosis is (in your lower back or neck), you may experience the following symptoms: –
- a tingling sensation or numbness in your foot or leg, or in your arm and/or hand.
- weakness of your limbs, foot or hand.
- problems with your balance and walking.
- neck pain.
- back pain.
- incontinence, or perhaps an urgent need to urinate. However, these symptoms only occur when the spinal stenosis is severe.
- cramps or pain in one or perhaps both legs when you walk or stand for some time. This may ease if you sit or bend forward.
What can be done for spinal stenosis?
Your doctor may suggest surgery to alleviate your spinal stenosis, but as this may only work for a limited period of time and you can still be in pain. Exercising can help, and our product range can also help you to manage your pain. Why not check out our catalogue and contact us for advice and help? Get in touch with us now.