Spinal stenosis is a fairly common condition that involves narrowing of the spaces within your spine. The small spinal canal becomes compressed. With this compression comes pinching of the cord and nerve roots, which can cause pain, cramping, weakness and numbness in the arm and other parts of the body. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.
Some people with spinal stenosis may never experience any symptoms, but others may experience pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. Symptoms can increase over time.
Spinal stenosis is typically caused by osteoarthritis that is brought on by wear and tear throughout the spine. With severe cases of spinal stenosis, surgery may be necessary to create additional space for the spinal cord or the nerves.
There are two types of spinal stenosis. The types are determined and classified according to the location on the spine. Some people may have more than one type. The two main types of spinal stenosis include:
- Cervical stenosis. With this type of spinal stenosis, the narrowing occurs in the neck portion of the spine.
- Lumbar stenosis. With this type of spinal stenosis, the narrowing occurs in the lower back portion of the spine. This is the most common form of spinal stenosis.
Many people with spinal stenosis will have little to no evident symptoms. However, many people will have symptoms that often start out gradual and worsen over time. Symptoms are varied depending upon the type, location and which nerves are affected.
Symptoms in the neck or cervical spine
- Numbness or tingling in the hand, arm, foot or leg
- Weakness in the hand, arm, foot or leg
- Arm pain
- Imbalance or problems with walking
- Neck pain
- With severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction such as urinary urgency and incontinence
Symptoms in the back or lumbar spine
- Numbness or tingling in the foot
- Foot pain
- Weakness in leg or foot
- Pain or cramping in one or both legs when standing for long period of times or when walking, which is eased when sitting or bending forward
- Back pain
Contact Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Flower Mound, TX today to learn more about our back and spine programs. We’ll schedule an appointment for you to meet with one of our licensed professionals at our center.