3 Facts To Know About Spinal Stenosis
Your spine is important for many reasons. While it is the basis for your body's posture, the spine is also essential for helping you move. Because of its importance, the spine experiences a great deal of stress over time. No matter how well you take care of yourself, you may develop pain and immobility issues that affect your quality of life. One condition, spinal stenosis, is quite common. This guide will give you a few essential facts to know about spinal stenosis.
Narrowing of the Spine
One of the first things you need to learn is what exactly spinal stenosis entails. Basically, certain things can cause the spinal column to narrow, placing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This narrowing can occur over time with age, from osteoarthritis, or even if the spine and back is injured.
Most people are surprised to learn how painful this narrowing can be. Not only does it cause discomfort, but it can also affect mobility, preventing you from walking, bending, and completing normal everyday activities.
Because the narrowing compresses the nerves, many patients with spinal stenosis experience numbness, weakness, and tingling in their hands, arms, legs, and feet, as well. Neck pain is also common. In severe cases of stenosis, patients may lose control of their bladder or bowels.
More Common Than You Think
If you were recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis, remember that you are not alone. The disorder is actually more common than most people think.
As a matter of fact, experts believe spinal stenosis affects an estimated 8 to 11 percent of the total population.
Treatment Is Possible
Thankfully, you do not have to live with the pain and immobility of spinal stenosis because there are many treatment options available. The best treatment will depend on a few factors including your age and the severity of your stenosis.
Epidural injections are common for patients living with spinal stenosis pain. These injections are placed directly into the epidural space of the spine, reducing inflammation and alleviating the spine pain for a period of time.
Spinal surgery may be an option to consider if your stenosis is affecting your quality of life.
A lumbar laminectomy to remove a portion of the spinal column can also be an option. By removing the section of the spine, there will be more space in the spinal column, which reduces pressure on the spine and nerves.
While invasive, lumbar laminectomy can be an effective option for patients.
Living with spinal stenosis is possible, but proper understanding is necessary to ensure you are diagnosed and treated effectively.