WHAT IS SPINAL STENOSIS?
Spinal stenosis as the name suggests is a disorder of the spine that occurs when the spinal canal narrows. The narrowing of the spinal canal is mainly caused by phenomena where the facet joints and the intervertebral discs in the spinal column start degenerating. A person suffering from spinal stenosis starts developing bone spurs that are also known as osteophytes into the spinal canal. The patient also feels a lot of backbone pain as well as discomfort because the facet joints also become enlarged and become arthritic. Spinal pain due to spinal stenosis also occurs because the spinal ligaments become stiff as well as less flexible with age.
SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSIS OF SPINAL STENOSIS
The person who suffers from lumbar spinal stenosis gets not only spinal pain but pain in the buttocks as well as legs. However, people who suffer from degenerative disc disease of the spine doe not usually show any glaring signs of the disorder. Although some of them suffer from mild discomfort in the lumbar region of the spine while others may even find walking a tiring and painful task. People who have advance spinal stenosis start suffering from pain in thigh, buttocks and leg which gets worse when the person is walking or standing for long periods of time.
Doctors usually start the diagnosis procedure by a study of complete medical history as well as a physical examination. No specific diagnostic test can confirm spinal stenosis but MRI scan and CT scanning help in visualizing the degree of narrowing.
TREATMENT OF SPINAL STENOSIS
The treatment of this medical condition depends upon the symptoms as well as their severity. The most common treatment options for spinal stenosis include:
- Conservative Treatment – For mild pain and symptoms non-surgical options like physical therapy, epidural injections as well as medications are preferred as backbone treatment option.
- Back Surgery – This option is considered by back specialist when non-surgical treatment fail to provide any relief to the patient. Decompression surgery and spinal fusion are the surgical procedures often considered for spinal stenosis.
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