SPINAL STENOSIS

DISC HERNIATION REPAIR

WHAT IS SPINAL STENOSIS AND WHAT CAUSES IT?

WATCH VIDEOSpinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. This occurs most often in the neck and lower back. Spinal stenosis is mostly attributed to the normal wear and tear changes of aging.

WHAT THINGS CAN I DO TO PREVENT SPINAL STENOSIS?

The risk of developing spinal stenosis can be reduced by maintaining the health of the spine. This can be done by maintaining a healthy body weight, not sitting in one place for prolonged periods of time, using chairs with firm back support, exercising regularly, and maintaining core strength.

IF I HAVE SPINAL STENOSIS, WHAT SYMPTOMS MIGHT I NOTICE?

Spinal stenosis mainly takes place in the neck and lower back. Symptoms of low back stenosis include numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, loss of motor function in the legs that may worsen with bending or sitting, stiffness in legs and thighs, sharp constant pain that may affect standing or walking, and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Symptoms of neck stenosis may include pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands, muscle weakness, loss of coordination in the arms and hands, problems with balance, and numbness or tingling in the shoulder, arms, or hands.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR?

A doctor should be consulted when the pain from stenosis is affecting your quality of life.

HOW CAN A PHYSICIAN DETERMINE IF I HAVE SPINAL STENOSIS?

A spinal stenosis diagnosis can be suspected when a physician evaluates symptoms and performs a comprehensive physical examination. This diagnosis is confirmed with a MRI or CT scan which also reveals additional information about the extent of the problem.

HOW IS A SPINAL STENOSIS TREATED?

Spinal stenosis can be treated by a number of things in different combinations. These things include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, exercise focused on core stability, over the counter or prescription pain medication, and direct steroid joint injections. It is only after symptoms cannot be contained by these measures that a minimally invasive surgical procedure may be considered.

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