Spinal Stenosis is a condition characterised by when the space between the spinal canals gets narrowed, creating pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The spinal canal is a tunnel that runs through each vertebrate in the spine. Tightening the space in the spinal cord or nerves can cause irritation, cramps, and compression, which can lead to back pain and other nerve issues like sciatica. Spinal stenosis can affect anyone and significantly impact their quality of life, but it is most commonly seen in people over 50.
Spinal stenosis most commonly affects two areas of the spine: the lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis) and the neck (cervical spinal stenosis). Let us understand some common symptoms and causes of this condition for timely diagnosis and effective management.
Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis
Depending on the location and degree of the narrowing, spinal stenosis can present with various symptoms. Common symptoms include:
1. Pain and Discomfort
Chronic pain and discomfort are two of the primary symptoms of spinal stenosis. The pain may diverge from the affected part of the spine and extend to the arms or legs. It depends on the location of the stenosis. A person suffering from spinal stenosis may experience a dull and aching sensation that may worsen with certain positions or movements.
2. Numbness and Tingling
The narrowing of the spinal canal puts pressure on the nerves, causing sensations of numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling in the extremities. The person suffering from the condition often reports feeling this in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
3. Muscle Weakness
Stenosis-induced nerve compression can lead to muscle weakness in the affected areas. The patient may experience difficulties in everyday activities, such as lifting objects, walking, or sometimes even holding a cup.
4. Difficulty Walking
A person with spinal stenosis may find walking difficult for long periods. They may have to take a break or lean on objects for support.
5. Balance and Coordination Issues
In severe cases of spinal stenosis, patients may suffer from balance and coordination issues. It is due to the disruption in normal signalling between the brain and the limbs caused by nerve compression. These issues may increase the risk of falls.
Main Causes of Stenosis
1. Age-Related Changes
The most frequent cause of spinal stenosis is ageing. With growing age, the spine naturally undergoes wear and tear. The ligaments may thicken along with the formation of bone spurs. These changes are the cause of the narrowing of the spinal canal.
2. Herniated Discs
A spinal disc herniates when the soft core of the disc pushes through a fissure in the hard outer layer. It can lead to the compression of nearby nerves, causing stenosis.
3. Spinal Injuries or Tumors
Injuries in the spine, such as fractures or dislocations, can cause stenosis. In rare cases, tumours in the spine can be the reason for stenosis.
In conclusion, understanding the symptoms and causes of stenosis is crucial for early diagnosis. With the help of reputable wellness centers, such as ANSSI Wellness, you can get non-surgical spinal decompression treatment that requires no medicines or injections, no hospitalisation, and a faster recovery.