Spinal stenosis symptoms

Spinal stenosis symptoms vary from patient to patient, ranging in severity from minor to crippling. This condition refers to narrowing of the nerve pathways in the spinal column, usually caused by age-related degeneration. While not necessarily painful, if spinal stenosis causes compression of the spinal cord or a nerve root, symptoms like shooting pains, muscle spasms and pins-and-needles sensations can result, both locally and in the extremities.

If you’re suffering from spinal stenosis symptoms and wondering if you’ll ever be able to get back to a better quality of life, knowledge can be an important first step in this journey. Learning more about your condition and the options available for treatment can help you get back to the life you deserve.

Location of symptoms

The location of spinal stenosis symptoms will vary depending on which region of the spine is affected:

  • Cervical (upper) spine — affects the neck, upper back, shoulders and arms
  • Thoracic (middle) spine — affects the middle back, ribs and torso
  • Lumbar (lower) spine — affects the lower back, hips, buttocks and legs

The cervical and lumbar regions are more flexible and support more weight than the thoracic region of the spine. This added pressure makes them more vulnerable to developing certain conditions, such as herniated discs or spinal arthritis, which are the underlying causes of spinal stenosis.

Relieving symptoms

Many patients are able to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis through the use of conservative, nonsurgical treatments suggested by their doctor. This typically includes the use of medication, physical therapy and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, becoming more active or quitting smoking, if necessary. Some patients choose to complement these treatments with alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation or deep tissue massage, among others. Always keep your doctor informed of any new types of treatments you choose to pursue to make sure they are compatible with your condition and existing care.

Laser Spine Institute

Surgery may be recommended for those who find little to no relief from their spinal stenosis symptoms after following a conservative treatment plan for several weeks or months. Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to traditional open spine procedures with our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons+ use muscle-sparing techniques that allow procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis.

Contact us today to learn more and find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures by receiving a no-cost review* of your MRI or CT scan.

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