Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

by Sam Malone


The spine is one of the delicate parts of the body. If a part of it is broken, expect that another part of your body will suffer paralysis, or even worse, you'll die. The vertebra is what makes up the lumbar, the lower region of the spine. It is also this part that allows us to move our legs, as nerves, blood vessels, and tissues connect our legs to this part of the nervous system. It is when the spinal canal narrows that lumbar spinal stenosis, or simply spinal stenosis, happen. It gradually progresses, but can move on to a stage called lumbar nerve root compression, where the nerves in the lumbar area compress, causing pain and damage in the spinal cord itself.

There can be various causes for spinal stenosis. This can be hereditary or because of degeneration of the spine. Anything that can encroach your spinal canal can also lead to lumbar spinal stenosis. These include spur formation in vertebral bodies, vertebral joints distortion, swelling in the joint's capsule, yellow ligament's displacement, or the thickening of the thin bony plate of vertebral's body called lamina.

Some diseases can also lead to spinal stenosis. One is Paget's disease, which is characterized by distortion and abnormal growth of the bone. Another is fluoridosis, which is the presence of too much fluoride in the body which causes bone thickening.

Lumbar spinal stenosis normally affects older people. Symptoms can be back pain with some leg pain and weakness. This may worsen if the patient is standing or walking frequently. Loss of sensation of the limbs and nerves, coldness, or numbness in some areas can also be signs of the disease. The condition may be aggravated by sneezing, coughing, and straining while defecating.

Fortunately, there are initial and ongoing treatments for lumbar stenosis available in our clinics today. But then, of course, learning about stenosis and relieving its symptoms stands as an excellent start towards healing. Surgery is not always the option, as nonsurgical procedures are available for the patient.

Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal medications are the usual anti-inflammatory drugs recommended by doctors. And as gleaned from these kinds of treatment, one would observe that treatment of stenosis is only about making sure the pain is gone because at present, there is no cure that could shoo stenosis away. What we have, however, are medicines that will calm the pain.

Exercise also proves to be a low-cost, effective therapy to the person with lumbar spinal stenosis. They can ride a stationary bicycle, as this stretches the muscles in otherwise "immovable" parts of the lower back.

If any of these simple treatments won't work, then it's time for you to seek proper medical advice. Usually he will conduct complete physical examination and medical history. He can then suggest some radiologic studies, like MRI or X-rays. You can also visit a physical therapist or get an epidural steroid injection to lessen leg pains.

Surgery can be another answer. Utilizing a process known as decompression, the surgeon will operate on the spine then frees the roots of the nerve as they pass through the tunnel coming from the spinal canal and moving into the legs. Bony parts like lamina and the yellow ligament should be removed to give more space for the nerves.


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