Definition and treatments for neurogenic claudication

Neurogenic claudication (NC) is a group of symptoms that are commonly associated with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition commonly develops in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine with the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms often develop at the site of the nerve compression and can travel the length of the nerve pathway into the buttocks and legs, if developed in the lower back. Read on to get an overview of neurogenic claudication, including the causes and treatments of the debilitating symptoms associated with this condition.

Neurogenic claudication definition

Neurogenic conditions originate in the nervous system, while the Latin word claudication translates to limping. Neurogenic claudication, therefore, is defined as limping that is accompanied by pain and cramping in the lower back, buttocks, hips and legs. These symptoms may follow periods of walking or standing and can also occur while coughing.

Neurogenic claudication causes

This condition is a classic symptom of lumbar stenosis, or a narrowing of the lower region of the spine. A number of conditions can cause the spinal canal and nerve spaces to narrow, and the spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself to become compressed, including:

  • Bone spurs
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Facet joint cysts
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Arthritis of the spine

Many of these spine conditions are caused by degenerative changes that occur as a person ages. After years of continued wear on the body, the elements of the spine may begin to break down. When these conditions cause a spinal nerve to become compressed, a number of painful symptoms may develop, including pain, muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, spasms and neurogenic claudication.

Neurogenic claudication treatments

Many patients are able to find relief from these symptoms through conservative treatments such as pain medications, physical therapy, hot or cold compresses, chiropractic visits and inversion tables. Neurogenic claudication tends to improve when patients sit or bend by stretching the spine and relieving some of the pressure placed on the spinal nerves. Your doctor can help you find the right regimen of conservative treatment for pain relief.

If conservative treatment is ineffective after several months, the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute may be your best option for pain relief. Our minimally invasive procedures help patients find relief while avoiding the negative risks associated with traditional open back surgery. Our advanced procedures provide benefits such as a safer and effective treatment with no lengthy recovery^ compared to traditional open back surgery. To start your journey to wellness, contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery.

The board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute may use a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization surgery to help relieve the nerve compression in your spine that is causing your neurogenic claudication. Our minimally invasive decompression surgery is the most common treatment for our patients with neurogenic claudication, though some patients need a stabilization procedure to regain stability within the spine. These procedures are all conducted through a small incision with muscle-sparing techniques to provide the patients with a lower risk of complications compared to traditional open back surgery.

Our state-of-the-art outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck and back pain. Reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.