Several conditions are not so serious but require proper treatments and diagnosis. Spinal stenosis is one such condition that affects people mostly of age group more than 60. The people coming to the spinal treatment centers report a long and progressive pain in their back and s, especially when the king.
These peoples are often depressed, frustrated, and discouraged. They often think that their symptoms will worsen with time, and they might end up in a wheelchair. Even though they have degenerative changes in their MRI scans, it isn’t dangerous. Let us discuss in detail spinal stenosis, what it is, its symptoms, treatments, and side effects of the treatment.
What do you mean by spinal stenosis?
In simple terms, stenosis means narrowing. In the spinal cord, this narrowing can pitch either the nerves or the spinal cord. Often, the individual may experience back and neck pain, and because the pain didn’t resolve, testings like a CT scan or an MRI are obtained. Interestingly, just because there are narrowing and pitching does not necessarily mean there is a specific pain, numbness, or tingling. Doctors, because of their experience of testing many people and research that tested people without any complaints, the medical community knows as you age, spinal stenosis is expected.
The process of developing spinal stenosis is related to a combination of disc degeneration and arthritis. As the discs narrow, the strong outer fibers, the annulus, and other associated ligaments are not stretched to their normal orientation.
This causes a broadening and widening of these ligaments. These ligaments typically encase the spinal components. With broadening and narrowing, this causes narrowing of the spinal components. The disc-based narrowing, the side holes where the nerves exit out the spinal canal also narrows. Besides, because the joints in the back, called facet joints start to rub against each other abnormally, the normal arthritis procedure of cartilage wear and subsequent elongation of the bony surfaces of the joints happen.
This is called the bone spur process. When you combine these three processes, there is a development of the narrowing, pinching, and spinal stenosis phenomena.
How does spinal stenosis affect your body?
Spinal stenosis is a part of the degenerative cascade that is an arthritis component. Arthritis of your spine can cause neck and back pain. This can explain a lot of symptoms you are currently having. If the nerves and the spinal cords are being pinched, it can cause many different sensations.
A pinched nerve can be very painful with radiating symptoms down the arms and legs. This can be associated with the difficulty of walking for certain distances. The classic description of spinal stenosis involves walking for certain distances and when you tire. They can take a rest for some time and then resume their normal walk.
Treatments for spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a part of the aging process and is expected after a certain age from every person. If you have been diagnosed to have spinal stenosis, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor and find whether the symptoms are related to it or not. Depending on your symptoms, you may be prescribed to go for surgery.
Your doctor may advise you to take proper nutrition and a healthy diet. He can also advise you to take anti-depressants and analgesics to reduce and ease chronic pain. You can also get steroid injections to prevent swelling. Some procedures may also be prescribed by the doctor, like laminectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion.
Spinal stenosis, when narrowing of the spinal cord, can cause progressive weakness of both the legs and arms with loss of some important bodily functions, including the ability to control your bladders and bowels. Not only in case of spinal stenosis but also in case of any other symptoms, it is prescribed to consult your doctor and go for an early diagnosis of your symptoms.