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Spinal canal stenosis

Spinal canal stenosis most often occurs when the vertebrae, ligaments and discs begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to narrowing and potential nerve compression in the central spinal canal that protects the spinal cord. The compression associated with spinal stenosis can irritate or compress nerve roots or the spinal cord, causing severe discomfort and a potentially diminished quality of life.

If you experience neck or back pain, it should be diagnosed by a doctor. It’s particularly important not to ignore pain that is chronic or lingers over an extended period of time. If spinal canal stenosis is present in the cervical (upper) region, you might feel pain that radiates through the shoulders and arms, numbness or tingling in the extremities or weakness in the legs, among other symptoms. In the lower back, or lumbar region, nerve compression related to canal stenosis could affect the lower back, the legs, the feet and the toes.

Causes of spinal canal stenosis

Spinal canal stenosis, which is sometimes called central stenosis, usually occurs after the age of 50. There are several potential causes of spinal narrowing, including:

  • Loss of spinal disc height, or a collapsed disc
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Osteoarthritis in the spine, also called facet disease
  • Spinal fracture or other injury
  • Spondylolisthesis, or vertebral slippage

Spinal canal stenosis treatment

Often, spinal stenosis can be managed through a conservative treatment program that includes options such as exercise, massage, hot and/or cold therapy and over-the-counter pain medicine. Sometimes, though, neck or back pain is so persistent that your doctor might suggest surgery as an option.

At USA Spine Care, we provide minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery^. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our highly-skilled surgeons are able to access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision. This means a streamlined, outpatient experience for our patients.

Contact USA Spine Care to learn more and to receive a free MRI review* to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.

Learn more today

If you're living with spinal stenosis in the upper spine and searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to helping people develop the right care plan to  reach treatment goals and achieve lasting relief.

Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.

Spinal Stenosis "Quick Answers"

Depending on the region and severity Spinal stenosis feels like tingling, burning and/or weakness in the hands, arms, neck, lower back or legs. It may also feel like a radiating pain or shooting shock-like pain. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Overview Defining Spinal Stenosis Researching Spinal Stenosis Learning About Back Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Pathophysiology
The types of spinal stenosis are region based and consist of cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) and lumbar or lower back. In addition, foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramen. Read more in the links below: Spinal Stenosis of the Neck Cervical Stenosis - Basic Facts Neck Stenosis Causes Neck Stenosis Treatment Central Canal Stenosis Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis in the Back
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition, most often located in the Lumbar spine, may be caused by degeneration of the spine, wear and tear, sports injury, & collapsing discs. Read more in the links below. What Causes Spinal Stenosis? Obesity May Lead to a Stenosis Diagnosis Age and its Role in the Development of Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis Causes Identifying Common Causes From Birth Defects to Getting Older Degenerative Conditions Car Accident Injuries
The symptoms of spinal stenosis include tingling or numbness in the extremities, pain and weakness in the neck, back and/or legs. In severe cases bladder, bowel dysfunction/continence. Learn more in the links below: What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis Symptoms Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis What Should I Do If I Think I Have Spinal Stenosis? Spinal Stenosis and Hand Pain Recognizing Spinal Stenosis Have You Been Diagnosed? About Your Diagnosis Diagnostic Process Helping Your Physician How a Diagnosis Is Made Arriving at a Diagnosis
Physician specialties that treat spinal stenosis include: Pain management & rehabilitation physicians, spine surgeons, orthopedic specialists & neurosurgeons. Read more about these specialties in the links below: Doctors Who Treat Spinal Stenosis Spinal Decompression Doctors
Patients can expect recovery to last 4-6 weeks in most cases (depending on the complexity of your condition). People who choose minimally invasive spine surgery recover faster and get back to work sooner than those who choose open back surgery. Read more in the links below: Recovery After a Procedure What to Expect Recovery Times

  • Problems from anesthesia.
  • A deep infection in the surgical wound.
  • A skin infection.
  • Blood clots.
  • Nerve injury, including weakness, numbness, or paralysis.
  • Tears in the fibrous tissue that covers the spinal cord and the nerve near the spinal cord. These tears may require more surgery.
  • Trouble passing urine, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Long-term (chronic) pain, which happens after surgery in some cases.
  • The chance that the surgery won't relieve your symptoms. And even if you get better with surgery, there is a chance that you may get new symptoms in the future.
  • Death from problems caused by surgery, but this is rare.

Read more in the links below: Overview of Risk Factors Most Common Risk Factors Obesity & Spinal Stenosis Spinal Stenosis & Arthritis Treating Elderly Patients

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