Spinal Stenosis Definition

Spinal StenosisAlthough this is not one of my back pain dilemmas (yet), I know many of you out there might be looking for a spinal stenosis definition including causes and treatment options.  Well, I would be happy to help.  After researching for this post, I’m convinced that I am headed in the right direction to know about this ahead of time.  While the symptoms are very similar to those from my issues at this point, some of my issues can eventually lead to spinal stenosis.

Before we dig in, I would like to point out that an accurate diagnosis of spinal stenosis requires assistance from a medical professional.   Besides a physical examination, an MRI or CT scan is almost always required.  While back pain is so common, it can be the result of so many different causes so I encourage you to be “safe instead of sorry” always!

10 Things You Need To Know

1) Lumbar Spinal Stenosis occurs when the nerve roots in the lower spine are compressed and symptoms include weakness, numbness or tingling in low back, particularly while being active, that can radiate down the buttock and legs (similar to sciatica).

2) Cervical Spinal Stenosis is much more serious and compresses nerves in the cervical (neck) region.  This can lead to extreme weakness and even paralysis.

3) Although not always spinal stenosis most often occurs after the age of 50 and is typically related degenerative issues associated with aging.  Younger persons, very rarely, may be affected as the result of spinal curvature or injury.

4) Symptoms (which typically come and go), frequency of reoccurrences and duration of flare-ups widely vary from patient to patient.

5) Most people suffering from spinal stenosis will be more comfortable when leaning forward slightly or at rest.  A walker or cane may be helpful for getting around.

6)  Treatment options include NSAIDS, learning to perform daily activities differently, physical therapy exercises (guided by a licensed professional), steroidal injections and certain surgeries as a last resort where the individual’s activity is so severely limited and nothing else has worked.

7) Exercises typically recommended for spinal stenosis include walking on completely smooth and flat surfaces with a wheeled walker or shopping cart, riding a stationary bike, hydrotherapy and Tai Chi.

8) Avoiding high impact sports and activities as well as standing or walking for any significant distance is usually advised.

9) Heat or ice treatments as well as topical pain relieving creams may also help as a home treatment.

10) Proper posture always (sitting, bending, standing, walking, lifting, sleeping, etc.) is considered essential to coping with spinal stenosis.

Once again, although there are so many causes of back pain, the way to deal with each and every dilemma remains fairly consistent in most cases.  Please share your story, comments and questions to help others today.

Wishing you no pain,


Image Credit – Copyright: rob3000 / 123RF Stock Photo

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