Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the open spaces or openings in the spinal column that creates passageways for the spinal cord and the spinal nerve. The narrowing, or in some cases an intrusion into these gaps, can be a source of nerve compression. The cervical and lumbar areas are the most frequently affected regions of the spinal cord.
The spinal canal located at the rear of every vertebra has a large opening where the spinal cord travels, particularly in the thoracic and cervical regions of the spine. On the other hand, a group of nerve roots is located on the opening in the lumbar region. These openings that branch away from the spinal canal is called foramina.The foramina provide different paths used by the nerve roots traversing the spinal column to the other parts of the body.
Stenosis impedes nerve functions, as one or more (foramina) openings narrow, creating a compression or harmful pressure on the vertebral bone causing pain in the spinal column and or in other body parts.
Spinal stenosis typically affects the lower back or neck. The most common symptoms include pain, numbness and stiffness. The pain usually starts as an ache in the lower back which then shoot down to the buttocks and legs. Patients with sciatica may also experience “foot drop,” which is a painful leg weakness. Because of the pain and discomfort, the patient may experience a hard time walking or standing. In severe cases, sciatica weakness the nerves in the bowel or bladder.
As the bones and joints of the spinal column degenerates or wears out, bony spurs or stenosis forms around the degenerated bones and pushes inside the spinal canal and foramen space. This movement also creates a painful pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Generally, non-surgical treatments are prescribed. The common treatment is medication for the pain. These meds include ibuprofen, naproxen and other pain relievers. However, these are only used as a short-term measure. The meds may be paired with exercise and physical therapy to improve the patient’s balance, strength, and flexibility. If the sciatica already restricts certain movements like walking, the patient may be required to use assistive devices like walker or brace.
More advanced treatments include corticosteroid injections, anesthetics and surgery. Injections can treat both the pain and the inflammation. Anesthetics are injected to stop pain for a time through a “nerve block.” Severe cases of spinal stenosis warrant surgery. This is used if the patient already has bowel, bladder and severe walking issues. The surgical procedures include laminoplasty and laminectomy.
AZ Pain and Spine provides the appropriate treatment depending on the needs of the patient. We offer pain management and treatment services for spinal stenonis, among other pain conditions.
Why You Should Reach Out to AZ Pain and Spine
If you want safe and efficient solution to your pain problem, you must seek attention from the specialist. Rest assured that we in AZ Pain and Spine are not only specialists in the field of pain, we are also well-equipped and widely experienced. We treat various pain conditions including spinal stenosis.
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