Types of spinal stenosis

Get informed about the different spinal stenosis types using this Laser Spine Institute online resource.

The types of spinal stenosis are often categorized by the region of the spine in which the condition has manifested. In general, spinal stenosis describes a narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord and nerve roots. When the limited space within this area is constricted through the degeneration of a portion of the spinal anatomy, neural compression can result if undue pressure is exerted on the spinal cord or a nerve root.

Spinal stenosis often stems from age-related spinal degeneration, which can crowd the space within the spinal canal with herniated disc material, bone spurs or swollen ligaments. Additionally, some people are born with exceptionally narrow spinal canals that are particularly susceptible to symptomatic spinal stenosis at a relatively young age.

Spinal stenosis types

The three main categories of spinal stenosis are:

  • Cervical spinal stenosis — Manifests in the neck region
  • Thoracic spinal stenosis — Presents in the mid-back region
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis — Occurs in the lower spine region

All forms of spinal stenosis can lead to chronic pain and disability that requires professional treatment.

Treatment options

Most spinal stenosis patients respond well to conservative treatments such as rest, pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, hot and cold therapy, low-impact exercise and massage. However, in rare instances, surgery might be required to relieve persistent or debilitating pain, but that alternative does not necessarily involve a highly invasive operation.

The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive surgeries to address the underlying causes of painful nerve compression. Our state-of-the-art procedures help patients find relief and are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery. To learn more about minimally invasive treatment options for the various types of spinal stenosis, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team will be pleased to review* your MRI at no cost and help determine if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures.

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