In the medical context, the term stenosis means the narrowing of a vessel or a tubular organ and hence, spinal stenosis stands for the narrowing of the channels of the spinal cord and its associated nerves. The condition can be congenital, but isn’t very common as its degenerative kind.
A lot of people experience radiating pain or weakness as the compression intensifies. Numbness is also experienced and pain is felt along the back side of the leg. Signs include clumsiness, pain while walking and a tingling sensation in the legs.
Spinal stenosis can be brought on by multiple reasons. Aging is a leading cause. As one ages, the ligaments thicken and this could cause the growth of bone spurs that project into the spinal canal. Age can also cause the cushioning layers between vertebrae to break down. Arthritis; both forms of it – Osteoarthritis and the Rheumatoid, can cause spinal stenosis.
One’s genetics could also cause the condition and this is the reason why the condition sometimes manifests in the very young. Accidents and tumors can also cause spinal stenosis. Burst fractures caused to the spine due an accident leads to fragments of bone getting into the spinal canal which could possibly injure it and cause inflammation. Regarding tumors, it is the abnormal growth of soft tissue in the canal or the physical obstruction caused by the very tumor itself that causes spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis can be treated with medication, rest and surgery. Methods involve changes in one’s posture and exercises which would lead to the enlargement of the spaces that are available to the nerves. Anti-inflammatory medications and activities such as bicycling also help. Surgery is resolved to, only when all other methods fail.
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