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Spinal Stenosis


Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, often caused by the natural aging process, but can also be seen in patients suffering from degeneration and congenital spinal conditions. Though most patients never experience pain from their spinal stenosis, in some cases the associated symptoms may be severe.  As we age, the elements that make up the spinal column often degenerate and decompose causing the spinal canal to narrow due to disc material or bone spurs. This narrowing causes compression on spinal nerves, resulting in spinal stenosis.  Spinal stenosis is most commonly seen in two areas, the back and the neck.

Though painless in some cases, spinal stenosis may cause a number of patients to experience severe pain and uncomfortable symptoms. Depending on the area of the narrowing, patients may experience some or all of the below symptoms in their back, neck, arms or legs. Some of the most commonly treated symptoms related to spinal stenosis include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Inability to sit or stand for long periods of time
  • Pain in legs at night
  • Radiating pain
  • An electrical sensation in the arms and legs
  • Localized pain
  • Weakness


The spinal column contains open spaces that create passageways for the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of (or an intrusion into) these openings. This can cause a compression of the nerves. Spinal stenosis most commonly affects the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine.


There are many treatment plans to help relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis including non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication to release the inflammatory swelling pressure on the nerves, and losing weight can also relieve some of the load on the spine. In such cases where conservative treatment does not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be suggested to relieve the pressure on the affected nerves. Meeting with one of our spinal specialists to discuss your options will help answer any questions you might have and start to get your pain free life back.