Neurogenic claudication and the lumbar spine

Neurogenic claudication is a group of symptoms that can develop when spinal stenosis occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back). “Neurogenic” means the condition is relating to the nerves, and “claudication” is derived from the Latin word for “limp.” Therefore, the condition describes pain in the nerves of the lower back, buttocks and legs that can make walking difficult.

If you are suffering from neurogenic claudication, the first step to finding treatment is to identify what is causing the nerve compression in your lumbar spine. This could be the result of a degenerative spine condition or an injury. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine a definite diagnosis of your condition so you can move forward with the treatment options available to you.

Causes of neurogenic claudication

Spinal stenosis is often the primary factor behind neurogenic claudication. Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition in which the passageways that allow the nerve roots to exit the spinal canal become constricted, often placing pressure on these nerves. Spinal stenosis also can occur in the spinal canal itself, placing painful pressure directly on the spinal cord.

Bone spurs, herniated or bulging discs, or other degenerative conditions can develop and cause nerve compression, and it is this pressure on nerve tissue that causes pain and other symptoms — such as neurogenic claudication.

By identifying the cause of your nerve compression, your doctor can recommend a series of conservative treatments or spine surgery to help reduce your pain so you can get back to your normal lifestyle.

Treatment for neurogenic claudication

For many patients, neurogenic claudication and nerve compression can be relieved through conservative treatments. These specific treatments are designed to stretch the spine, reducing the pressure on the pinched nerve and allowing more room in the spinal canal for nerve movement. Your doctor may recommend the following conservative treatments:

  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Pilates
  • Hot/cold therapy

In some cases, pain medication may also be prescribed to block the pain receptors in the nerve from reaching the brain, thereby reducing the sense of pain and discomfort.

If these conservative treatments are not effective after several months, your physician may recommend minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute helps put patients’ minds at ease about spine surgery by offering safer and effective procedures compared to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery requires only a small incision in the back, unlike traditional spine surgery that requires a large incision, often cutting through the muscles around the spine. Because our procedures do not require a large incision or muscle disruption, our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of infection or complication.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer two types of minimally invasive spine surgery: a decompression surgery and a stabilization surgery. While many of our patients are recommended for a decompression surgery to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve, some patients may require a stabilization surgery, which decompresses the nerve and strengthens the structure of the spine.

To take the next step on your journey to wellness, contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.