Spinal Stenosis

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is a condition in which the spaces in the spinal cord begin to narrow which consequently increases pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves of the spine.  Almost all cases occur in the lumbar spine (lower back) but can occur in the cervical spine (neck), but is far less likely.  Spinal Stenosis causes the impingement of one or more spinal nerve roots, which is the cause of the pain associated with this condition.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

There are many different reasons why Spinal Stenosis may occur but the most common cause is the aging process.   As a person ages, the ligaments of the spine may start to thicken and bone spurs (osteophytes) may also start to form around the spinal cord. This, in turn, causes the spaces in the spinal cord to become narrower.   

Another common cause is arthritis and many patients who suffer from arthritis also complain of Spinal Stenosis.

In some cases, this condition can be hereditary which often causes the symptoms to present at a much younger age (early 30’s).  It can also be caused by tumors in the spinal cord, as well as a Spondylolisthesis or any trauma or injury caused to the spine.

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of Spinal Stenosis can include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness
  • Sciatica
  • Numbness or tingling the legs