Spinal Stenosis Getting Worse? – What to Do About It

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, which can affect the spinal cord and spinal nerves. The narrowing effect can squeeze the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord, or even the cord itself, leading to a range of symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness across the spine or limbs. In time, if not taken care of, the condition can worsen, bringing about additional symptoms or intensifying existing ones, causing additional damage to the spinal column.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can occur as a result of birth defects, where a person is born with a narrower spinal canal, as well as various formations or changes in the spine that get to obstruct the canal. Apart from congenital factors, other causes include:

  • A herniated or bulging disc, which is a spinal disc that has developed a crack its outer shell, allowing the inner contents to protrude outward, and sometimes they can protrude into the spinal canal.
  • Degeneration of the spinal structures, particularly in people of advanced age, can also lead to obstruction and narrowing of the spinal canal. Some common degenerative changes that can take place include a change in the bone structure of the spine, which causes it to narrow, degeneration of spinal discs, which lose a large portion of their fluid content, altering the shape of the spine, and consequently the space meant for the spinal cord and nerves, which are at increased risk of being affected.
  • Another degenerative condition of the spine that can lead to stenosis of the spine is the formation of bone spurs, a type of osteoarthritis that leads to the formation of small bumps along the edges of spinal bones, specifically the vertebrae. These bony formations can develop in the direction of the spinal canal and thus lessen the space available for other spinal structures.
  • Physical injuries to the spine that affect the shape of the spine, causing a long-lasting, if not permanent change in its shape, reducing the space within the spinal canal.
  • Compression of the spine, which is probably one of the least addressed causes of stenosis, is a process where the vertebral column becomes pressed down, and along with it, other spinal structures are also compressed, as a consequence of the reduction in the available space due to compression.

The lumbar spine and cervical spine are most often affected by the narrowing of the central canal, and as such lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis are more common than thoracic stenosis.

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Some people with spinal stenosis may live with the condition for several years before any symptoms flare up. Some of the first signs that appear are pain in any of the three major regions of the spine – cervical, thoracic, or lumbar – as well as stiffness, numbness and reduced ability to bend or twist one’s spine. When the condition starts to worsen, some of the following signs and symptoms may be present:

  • Worsening pain along the spine, or pain that extends to the shoulders, arms, or legs. Lumbar spinal stenosis can often lead to sciatica, which in turn causes lower back pain, weakness, and numbness, as well as leg pain.
  • Changes in gait and difficulties walking long or even short distances, which can occur if the lumbar spine in particular has been affected.
  • In more extreme cases, a loss of sensation along the back or legs can also be present.
  • Pinching of the nerve roots, such as the sciatic nerve or even the Cauda Equina, which can lead to severe pain, stiffness and reduced mobility.
  • Loss of control over one’s bladder and/or bowels, leading to incontinence.

Spinal Stenosis Treatments

If the condition is in its initial phases, it can be addressed through natural and non-invasive treatment options. However, before proceeding with any form of treatment, it is recommended to obtain a spinal stenosis diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional who can accurately determine the cause of the symptoms (if any are present).

In some severe cases, such as those where spinal stenosis patients suffer from severe central stenosis that causes loss of sensation in the back, legs, or arms, as well as loss of bladder and bowel control, more invasive options, such as spinal surgery may be considered. One of the most common types of spinal surgeries for this condition is spinal fusion.

For milder cases of spinal stenosis, one or more of the following approaches may be helpful:

  • Pain medication or injections may be used for temporary relief of pain.
  • Heated pads or ice packs may be used to reduce localised pain and inflammation.
  • Exercising can help build a stronger back, increasing the support for your spine, and lessening the pressure on it in the long-term, reducing the effects or potential to develop spinal compression.
  • Physical therapy can help restore mobility in the spine and stretch it out.
  • Using an orthopaedic device that not only relieves, but prevents the pain and other symptoms caused by spinal compression. That device is called the Spinal Backrack.

Effectively Treat Your Back Pain from Home and Prevent Its Return

Keep the pain away with the help of the Backrack Spinal Decompression device, a special orthopaedic tool designed to relieve even the most stubborn pain along the spine. Designed by the brightest minds on Harley Street, London, a place renowned all over the world for its innovation and expertise in the medical field, the device works on all sections of the spine, providing long-lasting 100% natural relief from pain. It is free from side-effects and easy to use at home. Join the thousands of people who have reclaimed their pain-free life thanks to it!
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