What is neurogenic claudication?

Neurogenic claudication is a term that describes any pain, numbness, weakness, cramping or general discomfort in the legs. This condition can be caused by a vascular or spinal condition, either restricting blood flow to the legs or 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 physician to determine the cause of your neurogenic claudication. While this condition could only require mild medical treatment, it could also be an indication of a more serious circulation problem. 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 (openings) through which nerve roots exit the spinal canal.

This narrowing can be caused by bone spurs, bulging or herniated discs, or other causes. 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 is pinched, pain signals can be sent through the nerve pathway, which often extends from the spine, 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 consult the spine experts at Laser Spine Institute.

Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgery treats patients with spinal stenosis and other spine conditions that cause neurogenic claudication. The goal of our procedures is to align the spine and decompress the pinched nerve that is causing the pain and symptoms. We achieve this through a small, less than 1-inch incision that does not disturb the surrounding muscles, allowing our patients to experience a safer and effective spine surgery compared to traditional open back surgery.

To see if you qualify for one of our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a review of your MRI or CT scan.