Spinal pain or Back pain occurs mostly because of Spondylosis. Doctors say that it happens because of Lumbar Stenosis, for which people face problems in walking or standing.
What is Lumbar Canal Stenosis?
Lumber means Lower back, and Stenosis means narrow. Lumbar canal Stenosis has the symptoms of Neurogenic claudication. In this case, the diameter of the canal through which the nerves pass in the lower back becomes narrow. This process is known as Stenosis. The reason behind the Stenosis is-
- Excessive Spondylotic Changes: This change is generally called Lumbar Spondylosis. Pathologically, the sensitive nerves start reducing and start compressing the blood supplies. As a result, the person starts feeling pain in the back and this pain slides down to the feet. The person feels numbness in the feet and cannot walk.
- Vertebra Slipping: Lumbar canal Stenosis can also occur due to one vertebra slipping on another vertebra which is called Spondylolisthesis. This incident also narrows the lumbar canal and can be cured by realignment of the spine or compression of the nerves.
What is Claudication?
When a person starts walking and initially feels no pain. He sometimes starts getting heaviness, tingling in the lower back going down to the buttocks, thighs, and the legs in the feet. After a certain point, the person cannot go forward and has to sit or stop walking.
As the day passes, the distance of painless walk reduces for claudication. The patient starts feeling weakness in both the lower limbs. The walking distance without pain is called Claudication distance. As age advances, Spondylosis also increases.
Symptoms of Lumbar Canal Stenosis
Walking is an important activity in an advanced stage or for the aged people. It is important to walk for a person suffering from heart disease, diabetes, or any other diseases. This disease stops the person from walking and makes feet and leg numb. The primary symptoms are-
- Pain in the lower back and then spreads in the legs
- Numbness while walking
- Problems while standing for a longer time
What are the causes of Lumbar Stenosis?
The spine is a long backbone that starts from your neck and ends in your lower back. The spinal canal is formed by the bones of your spine. Here is a list of the causes that are responsible for developing the risk of lumbar spine stenosis.
- Ligaments that have grown thicker- The cords that are responsible to hold together the spine bones become stiff as it ages. These form bulges inside the spinal canal and leads to lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Injury in the spine- Spinal injuries such as car accidents that cause vertebrae fracture are major causes of spinal stenosis. Due to a fracture in the spine, the bone that is dislocated deteriorates the spinal canal. In such cases, surgery is needed. After the surgery, if the tissues located nearby start swelling, this can also create pressure on the nerves.
- Tumors- Unusual growths occur inside the membranes or in the spinal cord which is quite uncommon and is only identifiable with the help of a CT scan or MRI scan.
- Overgrowth of bones- There can be the formation of bone spurs due to the wear and tear on your spinal cord which mostly occurs due to osteoarthritis.
- Herniated disks- These act as a cushion between the vertebrae. Usually, this cushion dries out with age. If there are any cracks on the disks, the soft material from inside the vertebrae starts leaking and hence, becomes hard.
Treatments for Lumbar Stenosis
A surgery called Laminectomy is the best option to get rid of lumbar Stenosis. Other remedies are spinal surgeries, in which the problems in the areas are taken out through surgeries, and it relieves pain. Vertebras which are creating problems can be operated on through surgery. This helps to relieve pressure on the roots of spinal nerves. Other options may include:
- Change the activities that might bother you and give pain
- Do proper exercises shown by the doctor
- Getting physical therapy by the doctor
- Taking prescribed medicines and listen to the doctor
- Taking steroid injections as per your need
Always consult your doctor before taking steps regarding your Stenosis. Only a good neurosurgeon can help you in this case.