Spinal Stenosis – Symptoms, Causes And Treatment 


Spinal stenosis is a condition usually found in adults fifty years and older. The spinal canal of a person suffering from stenosis will start to narrow, resulting in pain and many other problems. Our spine is made of vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs that protect the spinal cord, which is an important part of the nervous system. The spinal cord connects our brain to other parts of the body and rests in the canal that is formed by the vertebrae.


Kinds Of Spinal Stenosis 

There are mainly two variants of spinal stenosis. The type that you are suffering from will depend on the area of your spine where the condition is. It is called cervical stenosis when it occurs on the neck area of the spine and called lumbar stenosis when it occurs on the lower back area of the spine. As per the healthcare experts in many low income clinics, lumbar stenosis is the most common one.


Usually, stenosis occurs from changes that are caused by arthritis. With the narrowing of the spinal canal, the open spaces between vertebrae will become small, and tightness due to this can result in the pinching of the spinal cord or the nerves around it, which can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in your arms, torso or legs.


Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis 

As said above, spinal stenosis can affect your lower back or neck. Not everyone suffering from stenosis will have symptoms, but when you do, the symptoms can include numbness, back pain, and stiffness.


Some of the more specific symptoms of stenosis include:

  • Sciatica: You will experience shooting pain down your legs.
  • Difficulty in standing or walking: When you try to stand or walk, your vertebrae will be compressed, resulting in pain.
  • Foot drop: Weakness and pain in your legs will cause you to slap your foot on the ground while walking.
  • Bowel or bladder control loss: In extreme cases of spinal stenosis, nerves to the bowel and bladder can be weakened, leading to loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Myelopathy: When stenosis results in squeezing of your spinal cord, you may experience tingling, weakness, and numbness in your legs and arms.
  • Radicular pain: Pain radiating from your spine to legs and arms.

If you experience any of the symptoms of spinal stenosis, visit a low income medical clinic in your area and get yourself treated at the earliest to avoid worsening of the symptoms.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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