Your spine, or backbone, protects your spinal cord and allows you to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in your spine. The narrowing puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord and can cause pain.

Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people older than 50. Younger people with a spine injury or a narrow spinal canal are also at risk. Diseases such as arthritis and scoliosis can cause spinal stenosis, too. Symptoms might appear gradually or not at all. They include

  • Pain in your neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in your arms or legs
  • Pain going down the leg
  • Foot problems

Doctors diagnose spinal stenosis with a physical exam and imaging tests. Treatments include medications, physical therapy, braces, and surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The following features are indicative of Spinal Stenosis:
  • numbness, weakness or tingling in a leg, foot, arm or hand
  • problems with walking and balance
  • pain or cramping in the legs
It is possible that Spinal Stenosis shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Spinal Stenosis

The following are the most common causes of Spinal Stenosis:
  • overgrowth of bone
  • herniated disks
  • thickened ligaments
  • tumors
  • spinal injuries

Risk Factors for Spinal Stenosis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Spinal Stenosis:
  • genetic factor
  • over the age of 50

Prevention of Spinal Stenosis

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Spinal Stenosis. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • eat healthy diet
  • prevent yourself from spine injuries
  • exercise regularly

Occurrence of Spinal Stenosis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Spinal Stenosis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Spinal Stenosis most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Spinal Stenosis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Spinal Stenosis:
  • X-rays: To see the bony changes
  • medical genetics To produce cross-sectional images of the spine
  • CT myelogram: To see the detailed cross-sectional images of your body

Doctor for Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Spinal Stenosis:
  • Orthopedician
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Neurologist
  • Physical therapist

Complications of Spinal Stenosis if untreated

Yes, Spinal Stenosis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Spinal Stenosis is left untreated:
  • numbness
  • weakness
  • balance problems
  • incontinence
  • paralysis

Procedures for Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

The following procedures are used to treat Spinal Stenosis:
  • Surgery: Removal of lamina of the affected vertebrae and vertebrae in the neck to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord

Self-care for Spinal Stenosis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Spinal Stenosis:
  • Use pain relievers: Helpful in relieving the pain and inflammation
  • Apply hot or cold packs: Relieving the symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis
  • Follow healthy diet: Reducing excess weight can decrease load-bearing stress on the lumbar spine

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Spinal Stenosis:
  • Physical therapy: Build up strength, flexibility and stability of the spine
  • Chiropractic treatment: Helpful in restoring the normal spinal movement
  • Acupuncture: Stimulates the certain places on the skin to relieve the pain

Time for Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Spinal Stenosis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Spinal Stenosis.
Back Pain
Spine Injuries and Disorders

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