Canal stenosis, or narrowing of the central spinal canal, can cause a number of chronic symptoms that can have a profound impact on your quality of life. It is generally only in rare situations that this condition is considered a medical emergency. However, there are a handful of telltale signs you should be on the lookout for because they can indicate you’re experiencing cauda equina syndrome, a condition that requires immediate medical attention.
What is cauda equina syndrome?
At the base of your spinal column is a bundle of nerves known as the cauda equina. These nerves are responsible for sending information between the central nervous system and the pelvic organs, legs and feet. However, when the regular function of these nerves is interfered with, as can be the case with canal stenosis, a number of potentially serious symptoms can arise, including:
- Lack of bowel control
- Sexual dysfunction
- Severe pain
If you are concerned you might be experiencing the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, seek medical attention immediately.
Canal stenosis in other regions of the spine can impact your overall quality of life, but there is a significant difference between feeling back pain and losing control over your lower body. Even so, back pain and the other symptoms of canal stenosis such as muscle weakness, difficulty walking, numbness and tingling can become severe enough that elective surgery is the best option.
Treatment for more common symptoms of canal stenosis
Symptoms that affect your lifestyle, interfere with your ability to move around comfortably and bring you consistent pain should also not be ignored. To learn more, speak with your doctor or spine specialist today to discuss options like physical therapy, massage, lifestyle changes and spinal injections. If you have been diagnosed with canal stenosis and are exploring your surgical options after exhausting conservative treatment, contact USA Spine Care and learn about our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.
We are happy to provide a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.