Your body gives you support, movement, comfort, and resistance to the rigors of daily living during the course of your life. But as you become older, your body does slow down. About 95% of people have degenerative disorders including spinal stenosis, in which the spinal column narrows and loses joint fluid.
Spinal stenosis causes one or more of the foramina, which are bone holes in the spine, to constrict. In total, there are two.
When the spinal canal narrows, pressure is put on the spinal cord, which results in central canal stenosis.
When the nerve roots in the intervertebral bone holes where nerves branch off the spinal cord are inflamed or compressed, this condition is known as lateral stenosis. Here are seven frequently asked queries about spinal stenosis.
The likelihood of spinal stenosis
The most typical form of spinal stenosis, though it can occur anywhere along the spine, is lumbar spinal stenosis. The lower (lumbar) spine’s nerve root region naturally shrinks, which is the cause. Because it is a degenerative alteration, it is most prevalent in adults over 50. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, up to 95% of adults over 50 will develop degenerative spine alterations. Most typically, men and women over 60 years old will acquire spinal stenosis.
What causes spinal stenosis most commonly?
Spinal stenosis can affect anyone, but it typically appears as individuals age. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that aging, which causes changes in the spine over time, is the most frequent cause of spinal stenosis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two additional frequent causes of spinal stenosis. Sometimes a problem like a bulging disc causes the space between the spinal discs to collapse.
Severe spinal stenosis: What is it?
In cases of severe spinal stenosis, symptoms such as discomfort or numbness in the legs and feet make walking exceedingly challenging or nearly impossible. Cauda equina syndrome, in which several nerve roots are injured or inflamed and cause significant symptoms, can also result from spinal stenosis.
The group of nerves at the spinal cord’s tip known as the cauda equina is in charge of transmitting and receiving signals from the lower limbs and pelvic organs. In addition to sexual dysfunction, sciatica, and/or nerve root paralysis, severe spinal stenosis can cause bladder or bowel difficulties, and loss of sensation in the buttocks, genital region, and inner thighs. Cauda equina syndrome may eventually result in irreversible nerve injury.
Treatment for spinal stenosis
First-line non-surgical methods for treating spinal stenosis include anti-inflammatory and painkilling drugs, physical therapy, epidural injections, or a combination of other therapies. Leaning forward while standing, sitting, or performing other tasks may provide some relief since doing so can widen some of the gaps in the spine between the joints. If non-surgical therapy is unsuccessful in improving the condition, various surgical techniques may be used. A spinal stenosis treatment strategy will be created by your doctor based on the findings of the diagnostic procedures carried out.
Is Spinal Stenosis Treatable?
Although spinal stenosis can’t be treated, it can be controlled. Always adhere to the course of treatment that your doctor prescribes in order to reduce discomfort and enhance mobility. Following the recommended course of treatment can also stop spinal stenosis from getting worse or at least slow down its progression. Regular exercise is crucial because it can strengthen the muscles and ligaments in your back and increase support for your spine. A healthy weight must be kept in check as well.
What are spinal stenosis’s advanced stages?
Typically, spinal stenosis progresses gradually. The intervertebral bone holes or the spinal canal’s available space will get smaller if untreated. You will eventually lose control of your bowel and/or bladder, be unable to walk or stand, and feel excruciating pain or numbness in your lower body.
Your physician will assign a severity level to your spinal stenosis. On a scale from zero to three, grade three lumbar stenosis is the most severe. In this grade, the area around the spinal stenosis shows little to no separation. You are in the advanced stages of spinal stenosis if you require surgery as a result of non-surgical therapy failing.
How long is spinal stenosis treatable?
Spinal stenosis does not reduce life expectancy, but if left untreated, it might cause disability. Patients 60–70 years old had an 87.8 percent 10-year survival rate, according to a follow-up study of elderly patients who had lumbar spine surgery.