What are the symptoms of spinal narrowing?

Spinal narrowing — also known as spinal stenosis — is a common degenerative spine condition that occurs as part of the natural aging process. In fact, spinal stenosis affects more than 200,000 Americans each year. But what are the symptoms of spinal narrowing, and how can you treat them? Before discussing potential symptoms and treatment of this condition, it pays to first learn more about its causes.

Causes

Spinal narrowing occurs when the passageways through which spinal nerves exit the spinal canal — known as foramina — become constricted due to the development of degenerative abnormalities. Over the years, wear and tear causes your spinal anatomy to degenerate. Spinal arthritis, bulging discs, herniated discs and bone spurs can all occur as a result of this narrowing.

Bulging discs, herniated discs or bone spurs can reduce the space that the nerves have to travel through. When this constriction progresses to a certain point, a nerve can become compressed, and this compression can cause symptoms to arise. Spinal narrowing won’t cause any symptoms by itself — only a neural compression will result in the development of symptoms.

Symptoms

Now that you know more about the causes of spinal narrowing and possible resulting nerve compression, you can better understand how and why this condition can cause the following symptoms:

  • Localized pain at the site of the nerve being compressed
  • Pain that radiates or travels the length of the compressed nerve
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

Treatment

With a firm grasp of the causes and symptoms of spinal narrowing, you’ll be able to better determine a potential treatment plan when you speak with your physician. Typically, this will consist of a variety of conservative, nonsurgical options that are often very effective in managing the symptoms of spinal narrowing. Whether it involves physical therapy, massage, pain medications, hot/cold therapy or other methods, you may find adequate pain relief through such techniques.

However, if weeks or months of conservative treatments have failed to ease your pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll be glad to tell you about our advanced, minimally invasive procedures that are effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery and can help you find relief from neck and back pain. We have helped more than 75,000 patients regain their quality of life after experiencing painful symptoms resulting from spinal stenosis and other degenerative spine conditions.