Spinal Stenosis Symptoms and Ways to Alleviate Them

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, either as a result of a congenital defect, tumor or – most commonly – a degenerative spine condition that accompanies the natural aging process. Spinal stenosis symptoms can include a significant amount of discomfort, but most patients are able to find relief through conservative, non-invasive means.


Spinal stenosis becomes symptomatic when inflammation or misalignment of one of the anatomical elements of the spine causes the canal to narrow to the point that a nerve root or the spinal cord becomes compressed. When this occurs, patients may experience the following spinal stenosis symptoms:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Tingling

Many patients experience discomfort in the areas of the body that are innervated by the portion of the spine that is affected. For instance, cervical (neck) spinal stenosis can cause symptoms in the neck, shoulders, arms and/or hands. Lumbar (lower) spinal stenosis may present symptoms in the lower back, hips, buttocks and/or legs.


In most cases, symptoms can be relieved by utilizing a number of conservative treatments. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, the use of hot and/or cold compresses and periods of intermittent rest can help many patients find relief. If several weeks or months of utilizing these treatments prove unsuccessful, a physician or spine specialist may recommend surgery. Before consenting to any surgery, patients should consider all of their options.

Laser Spine Institute offers effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery that utilize state-of-the-art technology and require smaller incisions and shorter recovery times^. Contact us to learn how we have helped tens of thousands of people find relief from spinal stenosis symptoms.

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