Also known as spinal stenosis, narrowing of the spine is a condition in which the spinal canal, the space through which the spinal cord travels, grows smaller. Many times, this tightening goes unnoticed because the spinal cord and nerve roots are not impinged upon. However, if it becomes too severe and the space becomes too small to comfortably accommodate the spinal cord and nerve roots, the pressure can result in symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, cramping and more.
The affected area of the body depends on the location of the affected area in the spine, but symptoms may be experienced in the neck, upper back, lower back, chest, arms, legs, buttocks and feet, and they may be felt on one or both sides of the body depending on the severity of the condition.
What can cause narrowing of the spine? Conditions including:
- Bulging disc
- Ruptured disc
- Bone spurs
- Facet joint disease
- Spinal arthritis
- Swollen ligaments
Treatments for narrowing of the spine
Conservative treatments for these conditions include:
- Cold and heat therapy/compresses
- Physical therapy
- Weight loss
- Steroid injections
- Pain medications – over the counter and prescription
More effective outpatient alternatives
Once these conservative approaches have been exhausted, your physician may recommend surgery as a last resort for relieving pain and other symptoms due to spinal stenosis. If this is the case for your condition, then Laser Spine Institute wants you to know that open neck or back surgery is not your only option for relief. Minimally invasive spine surgeries are advanced procedures that allow for effective treatment of conditions that cause narrowing of the spine and the symptoms produced by it, without the downtime, risks, bodily trauma, hospital stay or other negative aspects of open spine surgery. Contact us today for your MRI review to determine your eligibility for one of our procedures.