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Neurogenic Claudication – Definition and Treatments


Neurogenic Claudication Definition

Neurogenic claudication is a group of symptoms that is commonly associated with spinal stenosis (narrowing of nerve passageways) in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. Numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness are other symptoms of spinal stenosis and often accompany neurogenic claudication.

Definition

Neurogenic conditions originate in the nervous system, while the Latin word “claudication” literally means limping. Neurogenic claudication, therefore, is defined as limping that is accompanied by pain and cramping in the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs. These symptoms may follow periods of walking or standing and can also occur while coughing.

Causes

This condition is a classic symptom of lumbar stenosis, or a narrowing of the lower region of the spine. A number of conditions can cause the spinal canal and nerve spaces to narrow, and for spinal nerves or even the spinal cord itself to become compressed, including:

  • Bone spurs
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Arthritis of the spine
  • And others

Many of these spinal conditions are caused by degenerative changes that occur as a person ages. After years of continued wear and tear, the anatomical elements of the spine (the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, intervertebral discs, facet joints, and more) begin to break down. When these conditions cause a spinal nerve to become impinged, an individual may develop a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, spasms, and neurogenic claudication.

Treatments

Many patients are able to find relief from these symptoms through conservative treatments such as pain medications, physical therapy, and hot/cold compresses. Neurogenic claudication tends to improve when patients sit or stoop, as bending forward can help to stretch the spine and relieve some of the pressure placed on the spinal nerves. Patients who fail to respond to conservative treatments after several weeks or months may want to consider the minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. Contact us to learn about our state-of-the-art endoscopic technology used to back and neck pain.

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