6 Signs of Spinal Stenosis: Does the intensity of your back, arm, or leg discomfort change based on what you’re doing at the time? This symptom can be an indication of spinal stenosis.
When the bone passageways that house your spinal nerves (foramen) and/or spinal cord (central canal) constrict, this condition is known as spinal stenosis. This constriction, which can occur at different sites along your spine, may compress your spinal cord and/or spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a problem that often affects persons over the age of 60 and tends to get worse with time.
Here are six common symptoms and indicators to look out for if you think your discomfort may be caused by spinal stenosis. One or more symptoms may be felt, depending on the kind and location of the stenosis:
1. Neurogenic claudication
Your lower back’s squeezed nerves might cause neurogenic claudication, which is a pain in your legs. The following traits are typically present in neurogenic claudication:
• Difficulty completing upright exercises or activities
• Constant pain and/or numbness in your legs while standing
• Increased pain and/or numbness in your legs while walking a variety of distances and/or while bending the spine backward
• Improvement or resolution of pain and/or numbness with rest
Leaning forward when crouching, leaning on a shopping cart, or leaning forward while sitting can all help ease the discomfort of neurogenic claudication.
This discomfort must be distinguished from vascular claudication, which can mirror neurogenic claudication, by your doctor.
Your lower back’s nerve roots may become compressed and cause sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy (depending on the nerve roots affected). Sciatica normally affects one leg at a time and causes nerve pain and weakness.
Pain may be felt in your lower back, buttock, thigh, calf, leg, and/or foot, depending on the nerve root(s) involved. In addition to discomfort, the areas affected by it may also experience tingling, weakening, and/or numbness.
3. Foot drop
Foot drop may be the consequence of motor weakness in your foot brought on by compression of the L4 and L5 nerve roots in the lower spine. When attempting to move the foot and/or toes upward, this ailment frequently results in a sense of weakness. As a result, when attempting to walk, the person may unintentionally drag their foot or trip over themselves.
While standing on tiptoes, weakness might result from the S1 nerve root being compressed.
4. Gait problems
Depending on where it occurs in the spine, spinal stenosis may have varying effects on walking, such as:
- Foot drop due to lumbar spinal stenosis in the lower spine may create gait issues. Quadriceps and calf muscles, among others, may become weak as a result of the illness.
• Cervical spinal stenosis, a condition where the spinal cord is compressed (in the neck), can make it difficult to maintain balance when walking, especially at night. However, gait imbalance is not brought on by cervical spine stenosis with a pinched nerve.
Gait modifications could be too slight to pick up on right away. The problem may gradually worsen with greater falls over time.
5. Radiating arm pain
Mild to severe burning or shock-like pain in the neck, shoulder, and/or arms may be a symptom of cervical spinal stenosis. Both hands may experience strange sensations including tingling, crawling, and/or numbness. The hands and arms could feel frail.
6. Loss of fine motor skills
When the cervical spine is compressed, it can be challenging to do hand tasks requiring fine motor skills, including buttoning shirts. Writing may be challenging in the later stages, finally rendering it hard to grasp a pen.
Consult your doctor if any of these symptoms ring a bell since spinal stenosis may worsen if left untreated.
Signs and symptoms of spinal stenosis to watch out for
Rarely, severe spinal stenosis may result in warning signs including numbness in the inner thighs and genital region, significant weakness in both legs, and/or bowel and/or bladder incontinence.
These signs and symptoms point to a significant medical problem like cauda equina syndrome that has to be treated right away to avoid irreversible loss of limb function.
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Spinal stenosis treatment options
To ascertain the underlying cause of spinal stenosis, a qualified medical diagnostic is required. Your doctor could advise nonsurgical remedies including physical therapy, painkillers, and/or activity adjustment, depending on the reason and severity. Sometimes it may be recommended to use minimally invasive techniques, including epidural steroid injections. Unless there are serious symptoms or neurologic impairments, surgery is rarely recommended as the first-line therapy.
Spinal stenosis treatment In Gwalior
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