Conditions affecting the spine are one of the most uncomfortable body problems you can have. This is because the spine controls most bodily movements. Their treatment which is slow and gradual is a huge deterrent. Due to the popularization of athletics and exercise among the younger generation, these conditions have become more rampant, necessitating technological advancements and the establishment of more facilities. Conditions such as spinal stenosis in Eugene have been looked into even more. Read on to get more information about spinal stenosis and its effects.
What do you know about Spinal Stenosis?
This is a condition characterized by narrowing the spaces inside your spine, which puts pressure on the nerves traveling within the spine. This occurs mainly in the neck and lower back.
Some people experiencing this condition may not have any symptoms, while others have symptoms like tingling, pain, numbness, and muscle weakness that worsen over time.
Spinal stenosis is typically caused by wear and tear in the spine due to osteoarthritis. Extreme cases of spinal stenosis may require surgery to create additional space for the nerves or spinal cord.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
The types of spinal stenosis are named according to the part of the spine where the condition occurs. The two main types are:
- Cervical Stenosis: The narrowing happens in the part of the spine in your neck.
- Lumbar Stenosis: The narrowing is in the lower back part of your spine.
Signs and Symptoms
Evidence of spinal stenosis for most people may be viewed on an MRI or CT scan without symptoms. The symptoms start to occur, gradually worsening over time. The signs and symptoms vary depending on the stenosis location and the affected nerves.
Cervical spine (in the neck)
- Neck pain
- Tingling or numbness in the foot, leg, hand, or arm
- Problems with balance or walking
- Weakness in the foot, leg, hand, or arm
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction when the condition is severe
Lumbar spine (in the lower back)
- Back pain
- Weakness in the leg or foot
- Tingling or numbness in areas around the leg or foot
- Cramping or pain on one or both legs when you stand too long or when you walk
Some people may be born with a tiny spinal canal, although most spinal stenosis cases are caused by:
- Herniated disks
- Bone overgrowth
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal injuries
Diagnosis and Treatment
For your doctor to perform a diagnosis, they conduct a physical examination and conduct imaging tests that include:
- MRI scans to detect damaged disks, ligaments, and the presence of tumors
- X-rays to reveal bony changes
- CT scans to reveal herniated disks, tumors, and bone spurs
The type of treatment to be performed involves:
- Medications such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and opioids
- Physical therapy
- Decompression procedure
- Steroid injections
- Surgeries such as laminotomy, laminoplasty, and laminectomy
Spinal stenosis is a silent killer condition and dangerous as it can develop without visible signs and symptoms. Regular doctor visits are recommended for early detection and treatment. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, check out our website or call our offices in Eugene, OR.