If you suffer from spinal stenosis leg pain, you’re not alone. This condition is quite common, especially among older adults.
While there’s no cure for spinal stenosis, there are treatments that can help ease the pain and improve your quality of life. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for spinal stenosis leg pain.
Suffer from chronic leg pain from spinal stenosis? Contact Hamid Mir M.D. to consult with a trusted spine surgeon in Mission Viejo, CA.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
The spinal cord is the main pathway for communication between the brain and the body.
It is a long, thin bundle of nerves that extends from the brainstem down to the lower back. The spinal cord is protected by the bones of the spine (vertebrae).
It is vulnerable to injury. A sudden blow to the spine can damage the spinal cord and cause paralysis (loss of movement) below the point of injury.
With that in mind, spinal stenosis is a condition that narrows the spinal canal, which can lead to compression of the spinal cord or nerves in the lower back.
This condition is most common in older adults and can be caused by degenerative changes in the spine.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
The most common cause of spinal stenosis is the aging process. As we age, the bones and joints in our spine begin to deteriorate. This can lead to the formation of bone spurs, which can narrow the spinal canal and compress the nerves.
Other causes of spinal stenosis include injuries, tumors, and inflammatory diseases.
Injuries to the spine, such as a herniated disc or a fracture, can damage the vertebrae and lead to stenosis. Tumors that grow in or around the spine can also cause narrowing of the spinal canal.
Inflammatory diseases like arthritis can also contribute to the development of spinal stenosis.
5 Common Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
If you experience any of the following 5 symptoms, you may have spinal stenosis.
1. Pain in The Legs When Walking
The most common symptom of spinal stenosis is pain. This pain can be localized to the area of the spine affected by the stenosis or it can radiate out into the extremities.
The pain may be worse when standing or walking and relieved by sitting or lying down.
2. Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness in The Legs or Arms.
This happens when the narrowing of the spinal canal puts pressure on the nerves that travel to the arms or legs.
3. A Feeling of Heaviness or Cramping in Your Legs
When you have spinal stenosis, the feeling of heaviness or cramping in your legs is caused by the narrowing of your spinal canal.
This narrowing puts pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, which can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs.
The feeling is often worse when you stand for long periods or walk up hills. If the stenosis is severe, you may even feel it when you are sitting down.
4. Difficulty Balancing or Walking and Loss of Coordination
This can be caused by weakness in the muscles that control balance and movement due to pressure on the nerves in your spine.
5. Loss of Bowel or Bladder Control
This is a serious symptom that can be caused by severe nerve damage from stenosis.
Relief & Treatment Of Spinal Stenosis
When it comes to the relief and treatment of spinal stenosis, there are many options available.
While some people may find relief with over-the-counter medications, others may need to seek out more aggressive treatment options.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right treatment for your spinal stenosis.
First and foremost, it’s important to consult with a spine specialist. They will be able to help you determine the best course of action based on the severity of your condition.
In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended to help improve mobility and reduce pain. If your condition is more severe, you may need to consider surgery as a treatment option.
No matter what route you decide to take, it’s important to stay positive and remain patient throughout the process.
Do you experience any of the following symptoms? Back pain, sciatica, weakness, numbness, tingling in your legs, or balance problems?
If so, you may have a common condition called spinal stenosis.
Fortunately, there are treatments available to help relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis. If you think you may have this condition, schedule an appointment here with one of the top spine surgeons in Mission Viejo, CA to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.