Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas in your spine, most often in your upper or lower back. This narrowing can put pressure on spinal nerves or directly on the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis can cause cramping, pain or numbness in your legs, back, neck, shoulders or arms, a loss of sensation in your extremities, and problems with bladder or bowel function.
EVALUATING YOUR CONDITION
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis can have a number of causes, including degenerative joint disease of the spine (osteoarthritis), lumbar or cervical intervertebral disc herniation, spondylolithesis, or trauma.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
- Pain or cramping in your legs when standing or walking
- Back pain that radiates though the buttock and hip down to the leg (lumbar stenosis)
- Neck pain that radiates through the shoulder and down the arm (cervical stenosis)
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in your leg or foot (lumbar) or arm and hand (cervical)
- Loss of balance (cervical stenosis)
- Loss of bowel or bladder function (either cervical or lumbar)