Spinal stenosis symptoms
The specific spinal stenosis symptoms that you might experience depend wholly on the location of the condition within your spinal column, because spinal stenosis is not inherently symptomatic. You can experience the ill effects of this condition only when the stenosis results in the compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord. Treatment for spinal stenosis symptoms requires the precise location and exact cause of the stenosis to be diagnosed before further steps are taken.
What is stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that is best described as the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal. A number of spinal stenosis causes can lead to this narrowing, among them disc herniation, the development of bone spurs, vertebral misalignment and ligament calcification. Regardless of the exact cause of the spinal narrowing, when the canal becomes clogged to the point that the nerves within the canal are compressed, spinal stenosis symptoms may be experienced.
The location of the nerve compression is the most important variable when trying to understand the symptoms of spinal stenosis. A compressed nerve in the cervical spine in the neck, for example, can result in symptoms in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, while the compression of the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine might cause leg pain or other symptoms throughout the lower body.
In general, the symptoms most commonly associated with this condition include:
- Localized pain at the site of nerve compression
- Pain that radiates along a nerve
- Soreness or stiffness in the back or neck
- Unexpected muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
How do I overcome stenosis?
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis, it is important that you visit your physician to diagnose the cause of your pain. In most cases, a combination of noninvasive, conservative treatments over the course of several weeks or months can provide you with the pain relief you require.
Should your pain persist despite conservative treatment, spinal stenosis surgery may be considered, but this option is usually reserved as a last resort for patients who have exhausted their other treatment options. At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the frustration you may have when conservative treatment does not adequately relieve your pain. We offer minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that are designed to help you find relief from your pain without the lengthy recovery time^ associated with open spinal stenosis surgery. Our minimally invasive surgery utilizes much smaller incisions compared to traditional open spine surgery. Prior to consenting to open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.