Spinal stenosis, neurogenic claudication and aging

Neurogenic claudication is a term describing limping or difficulty walking due to a compressed nerve, often in the lumbar (lower) spine. This condition is often related aging, which can cause the spine to naturally degenerate over time and lead to conditions like spinal stenosis and nerve compression. Spinal stenosis is a term describing narrowing that occurs in the spinal column, often as a result of age-related changes to the spine.

Because the lumbar spine supports so much of the body’s weight, years of wear and tear can cause the components of the spine to begin to break down. When this happens, conditions like a herniated or bulging disc may develop, narrowing the spinal canal and causing nerve compression in the lower back.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis

Nerve compression in the spine can cause the following symptoms to develop:

  • Pain (either dull, sharp or burning)
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms and cramping

When nerve compression develops in the lumbar spine, these symptoms may be felt in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet, depending on the severity of the pinched nerve. This nerve dysfunction often causes mobility problems like limping because the motor signals to the legs are being disrupted.


Patients often find relief from neurogenic claudication when sitting and leaning forward. This can allow the spine to stretch and relieve some of the pressure on the spinal nerves. Consult with your doctor for a more comprehensive treatment plan.

After a thorough evaluation, your doctor may recommend a series of conservative treatments, such as over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy. These treatments are designed to remove pressure on the nerve or block the pain receptors in the nerve from reaching the brain to help relieve the symptoms of neurogenic claudication.

However, if these treatments fail to provide relief after several months, surgery can become an option. If you are exploring the possibility of a surgical procedure, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures give patients a safer and effective treatment alternative to traditional open back surgery.^

We are pleased to offer a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures. Many causes of spinal stenosis can be treated with a minimally invasive decompression surgery, though some causes may require a stabilization procedure. Both procedures are used to relieve the pressure on the compressed nerve root that is causing your pain and symptoms.

To learn more about the advantages of our minimally invasive surgery compared to traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.