- Posted on: Feb 15 2019
If you have chronic, non-improving back pain, it could be due to spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, the opening through which the nerve roots pass. Stenosis can develop in any area of the spine.
Here’s some more information on this degenerative problem with the spine.
What are the types of spinal stenosis?
The location of your stenosis determines the type. Cervical spinal stenosis, which occurs in the cervical/neck spine, and lumbar spine stenosis, which occurs in the lower back are the two most common forms.
Cervical spinal stenosis
This is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the C1-C7 vertebrae. The spinal canal can squeeze and compress the nerve roots where they leave the spinal cord, which leads to pain in the areas served by these nerves, the arms and hands. Compression of these nerves in the neck can actually change how the spinal cord functions, as it is at the beginning of the cord’s path through the spinal column.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis
- Stiffness in the neck
- Weakness in the arms
- Difficulty with hand function
- Pain and numbness in the hands and/or arms
Lumbar spinal stenosis
This is spinal stenosis in the L1-L5 vertebrae. These are the vertebrae that make up the lower back and tie into the sacrum, the hips. Because this occurs lower in the spinal cord, the accompanying pain occurs lower in the body, usually the buttocks, legs, and feet.
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis
- Tired, heavy feeling in the back, the buttocks, or legs when walking or standing
- Cramping sensations in those same areas
- Decreased ability to walking due to weakness, numbness, or pain in the legs
Wear and tear
The main cause for stenosis is simply the wear and tear over time. The spine supports an amazing amount of weight and deals with impact forces all day every day. Over time, osteoarthritis develops and the discs and vertebrae deteriorate. Discs thin and compress, allowing them to herniated and press on nearby nerve roots. Bone spurs form on the vertebrae, squeezing the spinal cord or pushing on the nerve roots.
Do you feel as if you’re suffering from the effects of spinal stenosis? Call the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685, and let’s talk about how we can get rid of your pain.
Posted in: Spinal Disorders