Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a term used to define the narrowing of the required voids within a person’s spine that creates pressure on the nerves/spinal cord. Majority of spinal stenosis occurs in a person’s lower back. Spinal stenosis constricts the nerve root which causes sharp pain down the back of the patient’s leg.

Causes

Some causes of spinal stenosis are as follows:

Heredity

If a person’s spinal canal is excessively small at birth, sometimes symptoms may show up in a fairly young individual. Certain structural abnormalities of the vertebrae can lead to the narrowing of a person’s spinal canal.

Aging

As people get older, their ligaments can get thicker, and growths or spurs can begin to form on the bones and spinal canal. Eventually, the cushion that exists in the discs between the vertebrae weakens. The facet joints that form the spinal column on each vertebrae, can also deteriorate. These factors encourage the necessary voids within the spine to start narrowing.

Trauma

Certain injuries and accidents can create burst fractures that can cause bone fragments to penetrate or dislocate the spinal canal or spine.

Spine Tumors

Abnormal growth of soft tissue can inflame the spinal canal, and cause bone resorption which is the loss of bone from overactive cells. This abnormal growth can also cause bone displacement and spinal column collapse.

Spondylolisthesis (spine instability)

Spondylolisthesis is a condition for when the vertebrae slips forward into another one which causes a subsequent narrowing of the spinal canal.

Symptoms

Symptoms of spinal stenosis include lower back pain and/or leg pain. Stenosis pinches a patient’s nerves that control muscle strength and feelings within the legs. Other symptoms include cold or hot sensations that create a feeling of numbness in the legs and pain when walking.