Tag: spinal stenosis

The spine is the body?s scaffolding. Its stacked column of 26 bones supports the head, shoulders, and upper body, and enables you to stand upright, bend over, and move. A number of conditions can affect the spine, causing pain and disrupting mobility. Spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spaces in various parts of the spine. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain or numbness in the back, arms, and/or legs. Some people with spinal stenosis also have trouble controlling bowel or bladder function.

You?re more likely to develop spinal stenosis as you get older, due to wear and tear on the spine. Some people inherit a vulnerability to spinal narrowing. Other causes of spinal stenosis include herniated disks, tumors, and spinal injuries that dislodge or fracture the vertebrae of the spine.

Doctors use imaging tests such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect damage to the spine and diagnose spinal stenosis. Treatment for spinal stenosis can include medicines to ease nerve pain and reduce inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Opioid medicines can help with severe discomfort, but these powerful pain relievers need to be used with caution because they can become addictive.

Steroid injections can help relieve inflammation and reduce pressure on the spine. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. A physical therapist can also teach exercises that improve flexibility and balance. Some people may need to use assistive devices, such as a cane or walker, to give them more stability while walking.

When these treatments don?t help, surgery may be an option. Procedures for spinal stenosis remove part of the affected vertebrae, creating an opening that relieves pressure on nerves. Metal hardware may be implanted to fill the gap left by the removed section(s), and keep the spine upright.

UHN Blog: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain

UHN Blog: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain

When I first started writing about health issues, I would casually mention how some people find their sleep disturbed by pain, but I didn’t really think much about it, or what the effects can be. Today I find myself in that category due to a lifelong problem that used to

Ice or Heat? For Back Pain, It Depends

Ice or Heat? For Back Pain, It Depends

Using ice or heat for back pain is a simple, drug-free treatment approach that can be very effective. Which one suits you best will depend on your individual back pain and, specifically, whether your aches and pains are chronic or acute.
Chronic pain may result from slow-developing conditions that cause

Kidney Pain: What’s Behind It?

Kidney Pain: What’s Behind It?

Because kidney pain location is frequently focused in the upper back, it’s easy to mistake kidney pain for pinched nerve that can trigger spinal stenosis symptoms. Kidney pain also tends to feel different—deeper, with kidney pain location under the ribs rather than centered on the spinal column (although kidneys pain

What’s Causing Your Upper Back Pain?

What’s Causing Your Upper Back Pain?

As a rule, upper back pain is unusual, since the upper back is structurally stronger than the lower back and also isn’t as mobile, due to being connected to the rib cage. This lack of motion affords it some protection against the bending-twisting types of injury you might sustain in

Is a Pinched Nerve Causing Your Pain?

Is a Pinched Nerve Causing Your Pain?

It can be difficult to cope with nerve pain like that caused by a pinched nerve, partly because of the nature of the pain and partly because common over-the-counter painkilling drugs aren’t very effective at treating it.

People who suffer from a pinched nerve or from other types of nerve pain

Sciatic Nerve Pain: How to Deal with Sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Pain: How to Deal with Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the biggest single nerve in the body, and has many sections that branch out through the lower spine area and down your legs. If any part of the sciatic nerve is squeezed or pinched, the result of this compression is searing pain in your lower back

What Causes Leg Cramps?

What Causes Leg Cramps?

Up to 60 percent of Americans suffer from leg cramps—with women and older adults particularly susceptible—and about 4 million people age 65 and older report the problem. What causes leg cramps? Dehydration is often cited as a major factor, but numerous other reasons may contribute to cramps:
Excess alcohol consumption
Medical conditions

Scoliosis Pain Can Strike Older Adults

Scoliosis Pain Can Strike Older Adults

Scoliosis—a condition that causes the spine to form an unnatural curve and/or twist—is most common in childhood, tending to develop just before puberty. But the condition also can be a problem for adults, who can suffer from troublesome scoliosis pain and stiffness in the lower back.
Adults with scoliosis may

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Spinal stenosis develops when the space around the spinal cord narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord. If conservative approaches don’t relieve spinal stenosis symptoms, many sufferers undergo surgery to relieve the condition.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
The most common cause for spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage

Solutions to Soothe Sciatica: Pain Relief May Be on its Way

Solutions to Soothe Sciatica: Pain Relief May Be on its Way

Sciatic pain can be intermittent or be constant to the extent that it immobilizes you—but although it may be tempting to see bed rest as the perfect form of sciatica relief, this can actually worsen the problem, since lack of physical activity weakens the muscles that support the spine.
Medical Approaches

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