Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This can put pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.
Some people are born with a small spinal canal. It can also happen with aging. Other things that may cause it are:
It is most common in people over 60 years of age. Things that may raise the risk are:
causes pain and other symptoms. Stenosis can occur anywhere along the spinal cord. It is most common in the low back (lumbar) region.
Spinal stenosis may cause:
- Spreading pain in the lower back, buttock, or lower limb
- Problems walking
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in the feet
- Weak muscles
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of your spinal canal. This can be done with:
The electrical activity of your nerves, nerve roots, and muscle tissue may be measured. This can be done with electromyography.
There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms. Options may be:
- Medicine to ease pain and swelling
- A corset or brace to keep the spine stable
- Exercises to keep the spine stable and promote strength and motion
Some people with severe symptoms may need surgery to take pressure off of the nerves or spinal cord. Options are:
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 09/2019 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2019 -