Spinal stenosis can be understood as the narrowing of the spinal spaces, also known as the spinal canal, through which the nerves travel. As a result, the narrowing puts pressure on the nerves running through the spine. It can happen at the neck or the lower back. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the issues develop in the lower back. Some people may not experience any serious symptoms at all, while in others, lumbar spinal stenosis can lead to pain, weakness, and even numbness in the buttocks, legs, and feet. Luckily, this is an issue that can be solved by West Orange lumbar spinal stenosis specialists. Below is a discussion of some important things you should know about spinal stenosis.
Causes of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
There is no one cause of lumbar spinal stenosis in all cases. But generally, it occurs due to changes that happen as people get older. For instance, as people grow older, connective tissues known as ligaments can become thicker, and arthritis can encourage the growth of bone spurs that put pressure on the nerves branching out of the spinal cord. In some cases, discs may be pushed backwards towards the spinal canal. All these issues have the effect of pressing the nerves, which causes problems in down in the legs, feet, and buttocks.
Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is usually associated with a number of symptoms. Some of its most common symptoms include:
- Weakness, numbness, cramping, and pain in the feet, legs, and buttocks. The symptoms may get worse when a patient stands upright, walk, or lean backward. The pain may improve when a patient leans forward or sits down
- Stiffness in the thighs and legs
- Lower back pain
- In severe cases, it can lead to loss of bowel and bladder control
Diagnosis and Treatment
When you visit a doctor with the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis, he or she will determine if you have lumbar spinal stenosis by conducting a physical exam and asking questions about your symptoms and medical history. The doctor will also have to do imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI. If it is established that you have lumbar spinal stenosis, the treatment is going to be determined by how severe the symptoms are. For instance, if the symptoms are moderate, you may get relief from pain medication, physiotherapy, and exercise. A spinal shot of corticosteroid may also work for you. If the symptoms are worse or debilitating, your doctor may advise you to go in for surgery.
Overall, it is apparent that lumbar spinal stenosis is an issue that comes with age without any apparent cause. Luckily, it is an issue that pain management doctors can help you to manage and treat. If you are looking for a pain management specialist who can help you to manage the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis in West Orange, NJ, SamWell Institute For Pain Management is an excellent pain management facility with years of experience.