Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar Spinal stenosis is the compression of spinal nerves caused by narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis can also affect the spine in the neck region. The symptoms include pain, fatigue aching and/or weakness in either or both lower extremities. Typically, the symptoms are worse with standing and decrease with sitting. As age advances the chances of developing osteoarthritis, disc degeneration and thickening of ligaments may increase and these conditions cause spinal stenosis. They can also cause back pain which can accompany other symptoms of stenosis.

Non-surgical Treatment

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy involves stretching exercises, massage, lumbar and abdominal strengthening, and sometimes gentle manipulation
  • Epidural steroid injections: Cortisone steroid injections are given around the nerves or in the "epidural space” to decrease swelling and pain.
  • Medication:Various classes of medicine can help with symptoms, but their utility is limited in stenosis.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is considered for patients in whom the pain and weakness is causing debilitation such as inability to walk for a long time.

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