Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which places pressure on the spinal cord. If the stenosis is located on the lower part of the spinal cord it is lumbar spinal stenosis. Stenosis in the upper part of the spinal cord is cervical spinal stenosis. While spinal stenosis can be found in any part of the spine, the lumbar and cervical areas are the most commonly affected. Sometimes such stenosis could be a birth defect. Most often spinal stenosis is seen in patients over 50 years of age. In these patients, stenosis is the gradual result of aging and “wear and tear” on the spine during everyday activities. As people age, the ligaments of the spine thicken and harden (called calcification).
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis may feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks specially while walking. Cervical spinal stenosis cause similar symptoms in the shoulders, arms, and legs leading to hand clumsiness and gait and balance disturbances.
Advantages: Spinal stenosis can be treated non –surgically with medications, injections or rest/ restricted activity exercise etc., and surgically with spinal stenosis operation.
Where does spinal stenosis occur?
Spinal stenosis can occur in each section of the spine: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. It is most commonly found in the lumbar spine.
Who Gets Spinal Stenosis?
This disorder is most common in men and women over 50 years of age. However, it may occur in younger people who are born with a narrowing of the spinal canal or who suffer an injury to the spine.
How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?
The doctor may use a variety of approaches to diagnose spinal stenosis and rule out other conditions: Medical history. Physical examination, X-ray, MRI magnetic resonance imaging, bone scan etc.
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