How does Spinal Stenosis Occur?
The narrowing of the spinal canal occurs most commonly from degeneration associated with abnormal posture and misalignment of the spine over time. Additionally, injuries to the spinal disc (spinal discs are the cushions in between each of the vertebra) can create what is called a herniation. The herniation or movement of the disc backward into the spinal canal decreases the size of the spinal canal and can over time lead to spinal cord and spinal nerve compression.
Symptoms Associated with Spinal Stenosis
Pain is the most common symptom associated with Spinal Stenosis. Abnormal sensation is also common in the legs, thighs, feet or buttocks. This abnormal sensation may be numbness, tingling or both. Sometimes muscle weakness is associated with Spinal Stenosis. In severe cases of Spinal Stenosis loss of bowel or bladder control may be present.
One of the hallmarks of Lumbar or Low Back Spinal Stenosis is a presentation called Neurogenic Claudication where the patient develops low back and/or leg pain after a period of walking. As the walking progresses, the pain or dysfunction worsens only being improved or resolved when walking ceases or the patient sits or flexes the lumbar spine.