What is neurogenic claudication?

Neurogenic claudication describes pain, numbness, weakness, cramping or general discomfort in the legs that is caused by nerve dysfunction. This condition is often caused by a spinal condition sending pain signals through the nerve pathways to the extremities.

If you are experiencing symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness in your legs, you should consult your doctor to determine the cause and find out whether it is related to neurogenic claudication. It’s important to seek medical evaluation and treatment so your symptoms do not worsen over time.

What causes neurogenic claudication?

Neurogenic claudication is a common symptom of the degenerative spine condition known as spinal stenosis. This condition involves a narrowing of the passageways through which spinal nerves travel. Sometimes, the narrowing occurs in the spinal canal that surrounds the spinal cord. In other cases, narrowing can occur in the foramina, or openings through which nerve roots exit the spinal canal.

This narrowing can be caused by spine conditions such as bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated discs, or spinal osteoarthritis. Regardless of the specific cause, spinal stenosis — as with other degenerative spine conditions — is most often a direct result of the natural aging process and the deterioration of spinal anatomy over time.

As the spinal canal narrows, the nerves passing through may become constricted. If a nerve root in the lower spine is pinched, symptoms can travel through the buttocks and into the legs and feet.

How do I treat neurogenic claudication?

Neurogenic claudication caused by a spine condition like spinal stenosis can often be treated with conservative methods of therapy. Whether it’s physical therapy, exercise, hot/cold therapy, pain medications or other methods, conservative treatments are typically effective in managing the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

However, sometimes the symptoms of spinal stenosis are too severe to be treated through conservative methods and instead require spine surgery. If you find yourself missing out on the hobbies and activities you enjoy because conservative treatments are not relieving your leg pain, you should reach out to the spine experts at Laser Spine Institute.

Our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures treat patients with spinal stenosis and other spine conditions that cause neurogenic claudication. The goal of our procedures is to decompress the pinched nerve that is causing the pain and symptoms. We achieve this through a less than 1-inch incision that avoids unnecessary disruption to the surrounding muscles, allowing our patients to experience a safer and effective spine surgery compared to traditional open back surgery.^

To see if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, ask for your no-cost MRI review* from a member of our team.