If you have chronic back pain, you more than likely have tried heating pads, cold treatments, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, but nothing really works for long. The back pain comes back just by moving a certain way. Maybe it’s time to find out: is my back pain spinal stenosis?
What Causes Spinal Stenosis
Stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body. Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spaces between bones that make up your spinal cord called vertebrae. This narrowing of the spinal canal can be due to arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
This puts pressure on the nerves mostly in the lower back and neck. The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis which affects our joints. When we age, our spinal canal can narrow from wear and tear.
The gradual wear and tear we experience from osteoarthritis causes changes to our spine by the time we reach the age of 50. Women have a higher risk of spinal stenosis than men.
With spinal stenosis, the narrow spinal canal puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots. The result is lower back pain or neck pain.
In addition, spinal stenosis can be caused by a previous spinal surgery, a spinal tumor, rheumatoid arthritis, or an injury to the spine.
Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis
Not everyone has any or all of the following symptoms:
- Sciatica – a pain down one side of you leg or buttocks
- Numbness and cramping in buttocks or legs
- Problems with balance
- Weakness in arms and legs
- Pain gets better when leaning forward or if you sit down
- Tingling in arms, legs, hands, or feet
Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis In Greensboro & High Point, NC
The only way to be sure your back pain is due to lumbar spinal stenosis is to have a thorough examination with Spine & Scoliosis Specialists and a series of tests.
Any combination of lifestyle changes, improved nutrition, epidural injections, physical therapy, and PRP to treat damaged tissue are all possible treatments. If none of these options relieve the pain, surgery may be recommended.