The symptoms of spinal stenosis depend entirely on the location of the nerve compression that is caused by the stenosis. As different nerves innervate different parts of the body, nerve compression in the cervical spine might cause neck soreness or muscle weakness in the arms. Likewise, an irritated nerve in the lumbar spine can lead to significant lower back pain or sciatic pain in the legs. It is also important to understand that the presence of spinal stenosis isn’t necessarily symptomatic – it is not the stenosis in and of itself that causes pain – but when the stenosis constricts nerve roots or the spinal cord, pain may be experienced.
What Is Stenosis?
In the most basic terms, spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that most commonly occurs as a result of the natural aging process. Over the years, wear and tear naturally causes the spinal anatomy to begin to deteriorate, which can cause the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal and foraminal canals in the spinal column. Herniated disc material, calcified ligaments, inflamed soft tissue, bone spurs, and other anatomical content can clog the canals, causing the nerves they protect to become compressed.
What Are the Symptoms of Stenosis and How Do I Treat It?
The specific symptoms of this condition vary from individual to individual, based on the location of the nerve irritation. In the central nervous system (CNS), the brain transmits and receives sensory and motor signals by way of a complicated infrastructure of nerves. When the regular flow of information is interrupted the body may respond in a number of ways depending on the specific nerve that is affected.
Some of the most common symptoms experienced as a result of spinal stenosis and nerve compression include:
- Localized pain at the compression site
- Pain that travels along the compacted nerve
- Muscle weakness
- Diminished reflexes
- Numbness and tingling
If you suffer from spinal stenosis and haven’t found the pain relief you require from conservative, nonsurgical treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how we may be able to treat your condition with one of our minimally invasive, outpatient techniques. Call today to schedule a consultation and request a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.