Spinal stenosis has to do with the narrowing of spaces within the spine, which results in abnormal pressure being put on the nerves traveling through the spine. In most cases, it occurs in the neck and the lower back. Some individuals with this condition are lucky enough not to experience any symptoms, while others may experience things such as muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain. While there’s currently no cure, medical professionals, such as the Georgetown spinal stenosis specialists at Republic Spine and Pain, are able to provide multiple treatment options. These treatments range from prescription medication to surgical procedures. Below are some important things that you should know about spinal stenosis.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
The types of spinal stenosis are usually classified based on where the issue occurs. The two major types of spinal stenosis include:
- Cervical Stenosis, which is caused by the narrowing of the spine in the neck area
- Lumbar Stenosis, which is caused by the narrowing of the spine in the lower back area
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
As mentioned earlier, it is possible to see evidence of spinal stenosis through a CT or MRA scan without having experienced any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they typically vary depending on the type of spinal stenosis that you have. For instance, if you have cervical stenosis, you can experience symptoms such as:
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in the leg, foot, arm, or hand
- Problems with balance and walking
- Neck pain
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
On the other hand, lumbar stenosis may be characterized by symptoms such as:
- Tingling and numbness in the leg or foot
- Weakness in leg or foot
- Back pain
- Cramping or pain in the legs after standing for an extended period
If you feel you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is imperative for you to seek the attention of a doctor or specialist as soon as you can.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
In most cases, spinal stenosis occurs as a result of old age and the day-to-day pressures put on our bodies. Over time, this causes space in the spine to narrow and puts pressure on the nerves running through it. Other common causes for this can include:
- Bone overgrowth
- Herniated disks
- Thickened ligaments
Diagnosis and treatment
Spinal stenosis is usually diagnosed through imaging tests such as X-rays, CT Scans, and MRI. Once you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, treatment may involve the use of medication such as pain relievers, antidepressants, opioids, and anti-seizure drugs. Depending on the nature and state of your issue, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, steroid injections, decompression procedures, or minimally invasive surgery.
Overall, it is apparent that spinal stenosis can affect a large number of people whether they are simply progressing into old age, or are suffering as a result of other health complications. While it can typically cause a significant amount of pain and discomfort, the good news is that this is an issue that can be treated and maintained by medical pain specialists. If you are looking for a reliable pain specialist to help you to manage and treat spinal stenosis in Austin, TX, Republic Spine and Pain is an excellent pain management facility to consider. Feel free to contact or even visit them today for more information about their practitioners and services.