Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the open spaces or openings in the spinal column that create 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 branches 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 narrows creating a compression or harmful pressure on the vertebral bone causing pain in the spinal column and or in other body parts.
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.