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Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis and Your Options For Relief

Spinal Stenosis, Spine Group Beverly Hills

When you have spinal stenosis, the hollow space inside your spine narrows, putting added pressure on the spinal cord and other nerves branching out from the spine. This condition most often occurs in the cervical spine (neck) or the lumbar spine (lower back). An estimated 1 out of every 1000 people over 65 have this debilitating condition, and because it's a progressive disease, most people who have it at 50 began to develop the condition in their 30's or before.

Let's explore the symptoms of spinal stenosis and learn about options for spinal stenosis relief. 

1. Tingling or numbness in your extremities

Nerves transmit signals between your brain and the various parts of your body, and the excess pressure on them caused by the spinal stenosis will disrupt and alter these signals. This may cause you to feel tingling and numbness in your arms, legs, hands, and feet. If the spinal stenosis is in your lumbar spine, these sensations may only manifest in the lower extremities and you will find this to be the case with all of these symptoms. If your upper body seems fine, then the pinching is likely lower in your back.

2. Weakness in the extremities

This disruption of brain signals may lead to weakness. If your brain can't clearly communicate with your limbs, it's hard for them to function well or quickly.

3. Trouble balancing and walking

You might also notice a loss of balance and trouble walking. This too is connected to the mangled signals in the narrowed spinal cord. Balance and gait issues are particularly common with lumbar spinal stenosis.

4. Pain in the neck/back

Depending on where the spinal stenosis is located, you likely experience pain in either the neck or the back, and you may also feel the pain in your legs and arms as well. This pain may be severe or you may experience it as a dull, nagging pain but either way, you shouldn't wait to seek treatment. Spinal stenosis is typically a degenerative condition, meaning it will keep getting worse, and the longer you wait, the less effective treatments may be.

5. Severe urinary/bowel incontinence

Disrupted signals also mean that your bladder and colon can't effectively communicate with the brain regarding when they need to be emptied. This most often leads to urgency and incontinence.

How Dr. Regan treats spinal stenosis

If left untreated, spinal stenosis can lead to permanent paralysis, incontinence, or other irreversible symptoms. If you're having any symptoms like these, don't wait to see Dr. Regan to find out which of the several causes have caused your condition, including:

Dr. Regan assesses the cause for the narrowing in your spine and then always considers less invasive options first, which in some cases may eliminate the pain and other symptoms caused by your spinal stenosis. These may include:

If Dr. Regan determines that the above will not provide long-term relief he may recommend:

If you have back pain, you need to know if you're really dealing with a more severe and most often treatable condition like spinal stenosis. Waiting too long to seek treatment could reduce your ability to restore full function, so don't wait. Contact Spine Group Beverly Hills to schedule an appointment.

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