By the age of 50, up to 95% of people in the United States have degenerative changes in their spines. If these changes begin to narrow your spinal canal, it leads to spinal stenosis and a good deal of discomfort. To provide relief from spinal stenosis, the doctors at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates offer the latest treatment protocols, helping patients in Daly City, California, regain pain-free movement. If you’re plagued by spinal stenosis, call or fill out the online form to request a consultation.
Stenosis of any kind is a medical term to describe a narrowing of a body channel. In the case of spinal stenosis, this means your spinal canal.
Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that form the foundation of your entire musculoskeletal system. As if this role weren’t important enough, your spine also provides passage for your spinal cord, connecting your brain to the nerves throughout your body.
When your spinal canal narrows, it can compress the nerve roots in the area, causing varying degrees of pain and discomfort depending upon the extent of your stenosis. This pain can radiate outward — down your leg if your stenosis is in your low back, or down your arm if it’s in your neck. You may also experience numbness, weakness, and even clumsiness.
In most cases, spinal stenosis is the result of general wear and tear, which is perfectly natural. Think about how hard your spine works as it provides the support and mobility you need to get through your day. Over time, especially if you add considerable stresses to your back, your spine begins to break down and your canal narrows.
In less common cases, you may be born with an unnaturally small spinal canal or there may be a change in the blood flow in your low back that leads to stenosis.
If your doctor suspects spinal stenosis after reviewing your symptoms, they turn to advanced imaging for confirmation, usually an MRI or CT scan, to see what’s going on inside your spine. For a more accurate picture, they may use a myelogram, where they inject some fluid into your spine and then take an X-ray.
If your stenosis is in your low back, your doctor typically recommends:
If your stenosis persists or it’s located in your neck, your orthopedist may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure on your nerve roots.
If you’re struggling with persistent back or neck pain due to stenosis, call Peninsula Orthopedic Associates or use the scheduling button to book an appointment.