Causes of spinal stenosis
While there are a wide variety of spinal stenosis causes, the natural aging process is the single largest contributing factor to the onset of this potentially painful condition. As we grow older, the parts of our spinal column naturally begin to deteriorate from years of regular use, which can cause the spinal canal to gradually narrow.
This narrowing (stenosis) isn’t necessarily symptomatic, but when the spinal canal compresses the nerves that it is designed to protect, the individual can experience an assortment of symptoms depending on the specific nerve that is affected. To learn more about the causes of this condition and treatments available for relief, read the following article.
The various spinal stenosis causes
Spinal stenosis can be caused by a wide variety of degenerative spine conditions, varying from patient to patient. In general terms, spinal stenosis refers to the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal, but truly understanding spinal stenosis requires a closer examination of what causes the spinal canal to become narrowed in the first place.
The best way to think of the spinal canal is as a cover that protects the spinal cord and essential nerve roots in the neck and back. The spinal canal affords just enough room for the nerve infrastructure to be protected from damage, but when the limited space becomes further narrowed, the nerves can become compressed or pinched, which causes spinal stenosis symptoms throughout the body.
Some of the most common spinal stenosis causes that lead to nerve compression include:
- Facet disease
- Calcified ligaments
- Bone spurs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Inflamed soft tissues
Treating spinal stenosis
The first step prior to beginning spinal stenosis treatment is to identify the exact cause of the nerve compression as well as the precise location of the problem. In most cases, a course of conservative treatment, such as pain medication, low-impact exercise and physical therapy, is all that is needed to provide meaningful pain relief, although in some cases surgical decompression might be necessary.
If you are considering surgery, first consider Laser Spine Institute as an option. Our minimally invasive procedures are a clinically appropriate alternative to open neck or back surgery and offer smaller incisions, lower risks of complication and shorter recovery periods.^ We offer multiple decompression procedures, such as a laminotomy, that have provided many patients with lasting relief.
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute has performed more than 75,000 patient procedures since 2005. Contact our dedicated team to see if our procedures would be effective for you and to learn more about the various spinal stenosis causes. We are here to help you reclaim your life from your chronic pain and discomfort.
Reach out to us today for a free MRI review* so we can help you learn if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient spinal stenosis procedures.