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Recognizing and treating symptoms of spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis symptoms tend to worsen over time

Spinal stenosis is often a result of a degenerative spine condition that is causing the space between the spine and the walls of the spinal canal to narrow. These conditions are often a degenerative spine condition, like a herniated disc or bulging disc, bone spurs, or arthritis of the spine.

As the name denotes, degenerative spine conditions are conditions that develop over time and gradually degenerate. Because the spine develops degenerative conditions after years of wear and tear and sometimes weight gain, the symptoms will develop slowly and continually worsen if not treated. If a nerve root becomes pinched in the narrowing spinal canal, the continually increasing pressure on the pinched nerve over time will only make the symptoms worse.

In order to help avoid debilitating pain, it is important to recognize the symptoms of spinal stenosis or another degenerative spine condition early on so you and your physician can work together to find an effective treatment option.

Recognizing spinal stenosis symptoms

The symptoms of spinal stenosis are really just symptoms of nerve compression because the pinched nerve in the narrowed spinal canal is the source of pain and discomfort. Because the spinal canal allows nerve pathways to travel from the spine out to the extremities, a pinched nerve in the spinal canal could result in both local pain at the spine and radiating pain into the nearby extremity.

For example, if spinal narrowing leads to a compressed nerve root in the lower back, it could lead to a loss of sensation or motor function in the buttocks, thighs, calves or feet. Similarly, nerve root compression in the neck (cervical) region of the spine could affect the upper back, arms or hands.

If you begin to experience pain and other symptoms in the extremities that are not otherwise explainable, it is important to see a physician as soon as possible to obtain a diagnosis. This is particularly important if the symptoms are chronic, which means they recur or are constantly felt for a month or longer. Left untreated, spinal stenosis symptoms can worsen and may ultimately cause a decrease in your quality of life.

Treatment options for spinal stenosis symptoms

If detected early, many forms of spinal stenosis can be effectively treated through nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy and yoga — two options that stretch and strengthen the spine to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve. Other conservative treatments include pain medication, cortisone injections and chiropractic care.

Some patients may require surgical treatment if all conservative treatments have been exhausted and pain relief has not been achieved. In this case, the minimally invasive surgery at USA Spine Care can help provide pain relief for patients suffering from spinal stenosis.

Depending on the cause of the spinal stenosis, our surgeons may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Our decompression surgery removes a small portion of a damaged disc or bone spur in order to make more room in the spinal canal and relieve pressure on a trapped nerve. A stabilization procedure removes a larger portion of spinal anatomy and replaces it with a surgical implant and/or bone grafts from the patient’s own body.

Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain and has earned a 98 percent patient satisfaction^ score. For more information about how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help treat your spinal stenosis, contact us today. Our team can provide you with a free MRI review* and help determine if you are a candidate for our outpatient 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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