Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

With the mixed results generated from numerous scientific tests performed on different treatments, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the typical causes of lower back pain that is probably difficult to address. In fact, spinal stenosis is even known as a debilitating condition in the United States Social Security Act.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

A medical illness that occurs once the spinal canal becomes smaller and puts excessive pressure on the spinal cord and its nerve roots.

The three major areas of spine, particularly the cervical, thoracic and lumbar (often misspelled as “lumber”) areas are prone to spinal stenosis. Stinger is a type of cervical spinal stenosis which is typical in American football players which is known by upper back pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms. For some “lucky” few, spinal stenosis may be found on all three areas.

The following are some causes that may bring on lumbar spinal canal stenosis:

  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Spinal degeneration that comes with aging
  • Spondylolisthesis, especially along L4 and L5
  • Anklylosing spondylitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tumors

Additional facts on these disease entities can be found in Wiki. Individuals who are at risk of getting lumbar spinal stenosis are…

  • Possessing a slender spinal canal since birth
  • Females
  • More than 50 years of age
  • Earlier spinal injury
  • Operated on for spinal issues
  • Experiencing osteoarthritis and have bone spurs in the spine
  • Prior case of inflammatory spondyloarthritis
  • Record of and/or existence of tumors in the spine
  • Paget’s disease of the bone.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Indications…

Lumbar spinal stenosis should be entertained when the patient shows with the following indications…

  • Pseudoclaudication, which is known by soreness, numbness, weakness, cramping or tingling of the legs and thighs
  • Pain radiates down to the leg

Extreme discomfort as well as the loss of bladder and/or bowel control, loss of sexual function, decreased sensation in the feet leading to troubles in walking, or partial or full leg paralysis may be felt in intense cases when the lumbar spinal stenosis presses upon the cauda equina in the sacral region. Cauda equina syndrome requires instant medical care.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment…

Upon verification of lumbar spinal canal stenosis through diagnostic procedures like x-rays, CT scan, and MRI, the physician determines the ideal treatment depending upon the reason of the stenosis.

Spinal decompression therapy, a non-surgical treatment, will be suggested to a patient particularly if the stenosis is prompted by a herniated disc. However, spinal decompression will not be effective if bony spurs are the cause of the stenosis.

Presently, lumbar spinal stenosis surgery is the best treatment to use. The surgery would involve the extracting of the overlying lamina or roof to relieve stress on the spinal cord. This procedure is known as laminectomy. Since instability may occur after the operation, spinal fusion needs to be conducted in addition to the laminectomy.

Prevention…

When it pertains to the effectiveness of spinal stenosis pain alleviation physical exercises, there is still a lot of dispute. A slender spinal canal cannot be adjusted with the application of stretching and yoga exercises though these can assist a lot in reducing discomfort since these help in strengthening the back muscles and support structures that improve the solidity of the spine. For lumbar spinal stenosis, the salmon calcitonin treatments are currently being studied on.