Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: What You Need To Know

What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis or lumbar canal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal of the lower back. The spinal canal is the passageway for the spinal cord. As a result, when the spinal canal gets narrow, it chokes the spinal cord or the nerves leaving it and traveling through the lower back. Lumbar spinal stenosis leads to pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the legs. The symptoms appear due to inflammation, compression, or both. The condition may affect at a young age, though, but it is more common among people over the age of sixty.

What are the causes of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

The most common cause of lumbar spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis or wear and tear. As people get old, their spinal bones go through degenerative changes, causing problems that lead to stenosis. These problems include:

What are the signs and symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

The lumbar part of the spinal cord supplies nerves to the legs mostly. Hence, most of the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis are observed in the legs. These include:

How to diagnose of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

The diagnosis of lumbar stenosis is based on:

What is the prognosis of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

The disease has a good prognosis for most cases. Many people obtain good relief with medications and physical therapy. Although there is no cure, these strategies help people live an active life by keeping the pain at bay. When stenosis becomes severe, surgery may prove effective.

What are the treatments of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

The treatment depends upon the location and severity of lumbar spinal stenosis. Options include:

Medications:

These are usually to relieve pain. Examples are as follows:

Physical Therapy:

To reduce pain, people usually stop exercising. It leads to muscle weakness and more pain. As a result, physical therapy becomes very important. It helps to

Braces to support the back, stretching, acupuncture, and massage may also prove effective.

Epidural Steroid Injection:

If the symptoms become severe and are not responding to other treatments, a doctor may recommend an epudural steroid injection. The injection is given where there is nerve irritation and inflammation. This is an image-guided interventional procedure done at operation theter. It is a very useful and best non-operative for lumbar spinal stenosis.

Surgery:

If other treatments don’t seem to work, then doctors consider surgery. Its purpose is to increase the spinal canal space to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. There are many surgeries to do so. One such example is laminectomy, in which the back part of a vertebra is removed.