Spinal Stenosis is a condition caused by the narrowing of the spine. The spinal cord extends from the brain to the bottom of the spine and is surrounded, or protected, by the spine itself. Together they help your body to perform sensory and motor functions properly. When areas of the spine narrow – causing them to compress the spinal cord – it places pressure on the nerves that branch out from different areas of your spine.
Spinal stenosis can cause loss of sensation throughout the body, as well numbness in your legs, back, neck, shoulders, or arms. It also can have an adverse effect on your bladder or bowel, often causing frequent urination. Spinal stenosis is most often a result of osteoarthritis-related bone damage, although it can also be an acquired condition, such as severe trauma to the spine.
Mild symptoms of spinal stenosis can be treated with braces, physical therapy, or pain relievers. In more severe cases, spinal surgery may be recommended.
- Pain or cramping in your extremities, ranging from your hands to your feet
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in your legs, arms, or feet, causing discomfort
- Loss of sensation or decrease of motor function
- Loss of balance – sudden clumsiness or tendency to fall
- Loss of bowel or bladder function, also known as caudal equina syndrome
- Pain in the neck or shoulders