What Is Spinal Stenosis?

What Is Spinal Stenosis? hover background

May 20

In medical terms, stenosis refers to any narrowing of the body channels. Spinal stenosis is therefore the narrowing of the spinal canal and is usually experienced in adults who are above 50 years old of age. Since it is the spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes, spinal stenosis could be more dangerous than what we can actually imagine.

There are many symptoms related to this condition owing to the fact that it interferes with both the spinal cord and the nerves which consequently interrupts the well being and proper functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Based on the section of the spine that has been affected, there are two different types of spinal stenosis.

Cervical Spinal Stenosis

This refers to the narrowing of the spine around the neck region of the body. An individual with this condition may experience balancing and coordination difficulties such as walking slowly with minimal uplift of the feet from the ground. This usually causes a lot of noise as one walks since the feet will be dragging on the ground. There may also be pain, stiffness, numbness or a general weakness around the shoulders and neck region.

Some indications of cervical spinal stenosis may be:

  • Balance and coordination problems
  • Shuffling or dragging the feet
  • Incontinence
  • Tingling, weakness, numbness or pain in the neck, shoulders, arms or even legs

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

As the name suggests, lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal at the lower back region. The lumbar type of stenosis can make one experience weakness and numbness that is originating from the lower back into his or her buttocks and the legs. You may also suffer some leg pains that may make it difficult for you to stand up or even walk. This is usually caused by little blood flow within the legs during movements.

Some indications of lumbar spinal stenosis may be:

  • Shooting or sharp pain, deep aches or burning sensation
  • These pains felt in the back, buttocks, and/or back of legs
  • Pain can be felt more on one side than the other
  • Muscle weakness
  • Standing for a long time can make the pain worse

Spinal stenosis may advance to more dangerous levels if appropriate control or treatment is not done at the right time. Before symptoms worsen, contact Above and Beyond Physical Therapy today and let one of our experienced physical therapists help you.


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