Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

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The symptoms of spinal stenosisWirbelgleiten are caused by a compression or an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal. This is an uncharacteristic change of the canal which can cause a lot of discomfort, even severe pain, as well as other symptoms that should be given immediate medical attention.

Generally, spinal stenosis has two common types, lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis, and a lot of the symptoms can be found in both types of stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is a more common affliction, while cervical stenosis is the more hazardous one, as it involves a compression of the spinal cord in a very critical part of the body being the neck region.

Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The symptoms of lumbar stenosis include:

  • Radiating numbness, weakness or tingling of one or both legs.
  • Loss of balance leading to frequent falling or difficulty to walk.
  • Neurogenic claudication or foot and leg pain resulting from certain postures.
  • Sciatica pain associated with a tingling pain or numbness caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve.
  • A severe case of spinal stenosis can affect the nerves to the bladder or bowel leading to incontinence.

Cervical stenosis symptoms include:

  • Numbness, weakness, pain or cramping in the arms.
  • Pain in the shoulders, back, arms and neck.
  • Where cervical spinal stenosis involves some pressure on the spinal cord, signs may also include pain, numbness and weakness in the legs and feet.
  • Bowel and bladder symptoms.


The diagnosis typically starts with a complete history and physical exam. Discuss your symptoms in detail with your doctor. The physical examination and the symptoms the patient is experiencing will help a doctor assess the severity of the condition and which specific treatment should be used.

However, diagnosing spinal stenosis in a patient can sometimes be difficult. Most of the symptoms, if not all, common to this condition are also prevalent in other common health problems. This is when medical imaging studies for patients become indispensable.

Diagnostic imaging to determine whether or not you have lumbar stenosis or cervical stenosis usually involves X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT) scans with myelogram.

Who Is Commonly Affected by Spinal Stenosis?

This problem is common in women and men age 50 years old and above due to the aging process. However, this condition also occurs in children and young people with birth defects or suffering from benign or cancerous tumors. Accidents or other major trauma can also cause the condition to people of any age. This happens when a bone is dislocated or fractured which may result in damage to the spinal canal leading to compression of the spinal cord or nerves.

Treatment Options

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors will usually recommend a regimen of non-invasive treatment. Here are some of the common non-surgical treatments of spinal stenosis:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to minimize the swelling and analgesics or other appropriate medications to relieve the pain.
  • Rest and restricted daily activity.
  • Spinal stenosis exercises and/or physical therapy to help  stenosisWirbelgleitenstabilize the spine, as well as reduce some of the spinal stenosis symptoms and signs.

In more serious cases, surgery will be recommended by your doctor.