Spinal stenosis in the back — overview and treatment

Spinal stenosis in the back typically occurs as the result of a condition — like spinal arthritis or a herniated disc — which leads to the narrowing of nerve pathways, often in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. These conditions typically affect individuals who have reached or exceeded middle age, but younger individuals could also be affected.

This condition can have a severe effect on your life, taking you away from friends and family as well as your favorite pastimes. If you’re looking for relief from spinal stenosis in the back, learning more about this condition can be a very important first step toward finding the relief you deserve.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis

In and of itself, spinal stenosis in the back does not necessarily produce symptoms. Some amount of stenosis, or narrowing, occurs in everyone due to the age-related breakdown of parts of the spine. However, if the spinal canal or a nerve-root exit narrows to the point that nerve compression happens, patients might experience symptoms due to the interference. These can include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms might be localized or experienced in seemingly unrelated areas of the body, such as the hips, buttocks and legs, because they are able to travel along the length of an affected nerve. Spinal stenosis in the back commonly occurs in the lumbar spine because this region endures so much stress from supporting and moving the upper body.

Treating spinal stenosis in the back

Many patients diagnosed with spinal stenosis in the back are able to relieve their symptoms through the use of conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Those who do not find relief after following a doctor-suggested conservative treatment plan of medication, physical therapy, hot and cold compression, exercise or other methods, might decide to consider undergoing surgical treatment.

If you are recommended for spine surgery to treat stenosis, reach out to Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^

We have a dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants who can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.

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