Spinal stenosis involves the narrowing of various spaces within the spine, which in turn can result in the spinal cord and nerves experiencing pressure. The majority of individuals who suffer from spinal stenosis, experience it in the lower back. With most cases of spinal stenosis, pain can occur in the back of the leg as the nerve root becomes compressed as a result of the spine narrowing.
Numerous risk factors come into play with spinal stenosis and they can include:
- Thickening of the body’s ligaments due to the aging process
- Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis impacting the spine
- Family history
- Volatility of the spine, where a vertebra falls out of place
- Physical trauma such as major accidents or injuries that impact the spine
- Development of a tumor on the spine itself
- Herniated disc
Common symptoms experienced by those with spinal stenosis include lack of physical stability (consistently falling over) and difficulty walking.
It can be difficult to diagnose an individual with spinal stenosis as its symptoms can be the result of other health conditions. In fact, it is not often necessary to have had a history of back-related problems or injuries in order to be diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Rather, spinal stenosis can be diagnosed based on symptoms found in the leg.
Spinal stenosis can be detected through the use of x-rays, MRI’s, or CT myelogram. Various treatment options, medical and non medical are available for spinal stenosis. Individuals can change their posture while walking by leaning forward may provide relief to its symptoms. Even drawing the knees to the chest can help afford the individual some relief. Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help provide relief to the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Rest as well as aerobic activity such as bicycling are recommended as well. If none of these treatments work, surgery may be a possible option to help provide relief.