Where is spinal stenosis pain usually experienced?
Spinal stenosis pain can affect different areas of the body depending on the location and severity of the condition. Characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal or nerve root exits in the spinal column, spinal stenosis frequently occurs in the lumber (lower) and cervical (upper) regions. If the narrowing occurs in the lumbar region, symptoms are typically felt in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet. Conversely, if the stenosis is in the cervical region and a nerve root is compressed, it usually affects the shoulders, arms and hands. If the spinal cord is compressed, it can lead to weakness in any area of the body below the point of compression. This means a patient with spinal stenosis in the neck can experience weakness in the legs and difficulty walking.
While some people are born with very narrow spinal canals, stenosis usually results from spinal trauma or a degenerative condition that encroaches on the already limited amount of space available in the spinal column. This can occur when a bone spur, or overgrowth of bone, forms in the spinal canal. It can also develop when a spinal disc bulges or herniates, allowing displaced disc material to press on or irritate the spinal cord or nearby nerve roots.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis
While spinal stenosis does not always produce symptoms, some of the signs commonly displayed by both lumbar and cervical spinal stenosis include:
Pain that radiates through the extremities
What to do
If you’re exhibiting one or more of these symptoms and suspect that you might have spinal stenosis, it’s best to see a doctor who can confirm your diagnosis and design a customized treatment plan to meet your needs. In many cases, conservative therapies like rest and targeted stretching are attempted initially. Then, if the spinal stenosis pain and other symptoms persist, a doctor might recommend cortisone injections or, as a last resort, surgical intervention.
Prior to consenting to any type of surgery, it’s best to explore all available options. The surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are safer and effective^ alternatives to traditional open spine surgery for addressing the pain of spinal stenosis and other degenerative spine conditions. To learn if you are a candidate for our procedures and to request a free review* of your MRI or CT scan, please contact us today.
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.
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 ProcedureWhat to ExpectRecovery Times
Problems from anesthesia.
A deep infection in the surgical wound.
A skin infection.
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.
^Results are typical, but not guaranteed, each patients experience with spine surgery will differ.
For more information, visit usaspinecare.com/results. The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a replacement for a medical diagnosis.
*Our MRI review is an informational review of the MRI report that you provide to us and is not a form of diagnosis. A diagnosis and a final determination of whether you may benefit from treatment at USA Spine Care can only be made after you have been physically examined by our medical professionals at USA Spine Care. The MRI review has no value and will not be billed.