What causes Spinal Stenosis?
Who is at risk of developing Spinal Stenosis?
The risk of developing Spinal Stenosis increases in those who:
Are born with a narrow spinal canal
Are 50 years of age or older
Have had previous injury or surgery of the spine
Conditions that can cause Spinal Stenosis include:
Arthritis and bone spurs (osteophytes) associated with aging
Spinal tumors (rare)
How is it Treated?
Typically, spinal stenosis is treated with conservative non-surgical therapies. One important therapy is exercise. Keeping the muscles of the hip, back, and legs stretched and strengthened allows for improved stability and will improve walking. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) also may be appropriate and helpful in pain relief. Cortisone injections into the area around the spinal cord, may provide temporary relief to people suffering from this disorder however, steroid shots do come with risks.
Under severe and rare circumstances, surgery to correct this disorder may be appropriate. A popular surgery is a laminectomy where they remove the lamina of the vertebra and remove the build-up of bone spurs or increased bone mass in the spinal canal. This can free up space for the nerves and the spinal cord. However, the risks versus rewards should always be assessed and all conservative options should be exhausted first.
If Spinal Stenosis is caused or exacerbated by a herniated or bulging disc then Spinal Decompression may be very effective. Spinal Decompression creates a negative pressure inside of the discs which helps draw in herniations and bulges. Once these are drawn in the pressure is taken off of the nerves and the pain, numbness, and tingling will subside.
During your consultation, the physician will address which form of therapy will best benefit your diagnosis.