Spinal stenosis, neurogenic claudication and aging

Neurogenic claudication is a condition that causes limping or difficulty walking due to a compressed nerve in the lumbar spine (lower back). This condition is often a result of aging, which can cause the spine to naturally degenerate over time and lead to conditions like spinal stenosis and nerve compression.

Because the lumbar spine, particularly, is responsible for supporting most of the body’s weight, years of wear and tear can cause the components of the spine to eventually 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. Other degenerative conditions may include degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis.

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.

Treatments

Patients often find relief from neurogenic claudication when sitting and leaning forward, which can allow the spine to stretch, thereby relieving some of the pressure on the spinal nerves. This only provides temporary relief, however, and more lasting relief should be discussed with your doctor.

After reviewing your MRI or CT scan, 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, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures give patients a safer, more effective treatment alternative to traditional open back surgery.

We will review your MRI report or CT scan and determine your candidacy for one of our minimally invasive 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 over traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Let us help you take the next step toward reclaiming your life from chronic back pain.