Overview of Spinal Stenosis from a Los Angeles Pain Management Doctor

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis involves pain felt in one’s buttocks, thighs and legs. The spine has a row of twenty-six bones that enables a human to bend or stand straight and protects the spinal cord from injuries. Spinal stenosis narrows the spine spaces causing pressure on the nerves and spinal cord resulting in pain.
spinal_stenosis5
What Are The Causes Of Spinal Stenosis?

There are many factors that cause spinal stenosis. They include:

Aging

The changes that take place in the spine as people get older are among the causes of spinal stenosis since they may experience the following:

  • Bone surfaces may bulge out( bone spurs)
  • Joints and bones may get bigger.
  • Bands of tissue may get hard and thick

Arthritis

A degenerative arthritis condition can also cause spinal stenosis. The two kinds of arthritis that can affect the spine are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Makes the soft joint tissues swell as well as affect internal systems and organs
  • Can damage joints severely
  • Affects people when they are young.
  • Is not a primary cause of spinal stenosis?

Osteoarthritis:

  • Occurs often in older and middle-aged people
  • Involves many joints
  • Never goes away
  • Causes joint problems and bone spurs
  • Wears away the cartilage that puts joints in place

Inherited conditions

There are people who have an inborn condition that favors spinal stenosis. For example, individuals born with small spinal canal or curved spine (scoliosis)

Other factors

  • Injuriesspinal_stenosis1
  • High fluoride contents in the body
  • Tumors in the spine
  • Paget’s disease

What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis?

This condition can result in legs pains as well as low back pain. Stenosis can also affect the nerves that control sensation and muscle power in the legs. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty and pain when walking
  • Tingling, cold, hot or numbness feelings in legs.
  • Frequent Clumsiness and falling

What Are The Diagnoses For Spinal Stenosis?

A doctor will inquire about the medical history and then take a physical exam. The doctor may also require you take more than one test such as:

  • MRI- this test will help to look and examine your spine
  • X-rays
  • Computerized axial tomography- this test offers a detailed image regarding your spine.
  • Bone scan- this helps to show where bones being formed or are breaking.
  • Myelogram

What Are Spinal Stenosis Treatment Options?

There are several effective treatment options for spinal stenosis. They include:

Medications: in cases where the pressure is a result of inflammatory swelling, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help to relieve symptoms.

Posture change: individual with spinal stenosis can relieve symptoms if they flex the spine and lean forward when walking. Drawing knees to the chest while lying will also offer relief pain.

Rest: Resting and resuming activities gradually will also help relieve pain. Aerobic exercises such as bicycling are also recommended.

Surgery: when the other treatments are unable to relieve the pain, the only option is surgery on the affected parts to ease the pressure.

Since there are no laboratory test that can detect absence or presence of stenosis, it important for you to take tests such as CT and MRI scanning to visualize any possible causes. This condition is well controlled only if detected early enough.

Colorado Clinic offers comprehensive spinal stenosis treatment at several Northern Colorado locations. Most insurance is accepted at the pain clinics in Greeley, Loveland and Boulder. Call today!