What are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

What are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. Symptoms can vary based on the location and severity of the narrowing. Common symptoms of spinal stenosis may include:

  • Back or Neck Pain: Chronic pain in the back (lumbar region) or neck (cervical region) is a common symptom.
  • Radiating Pain: Pain that radiates from the spine into the extremities (legs or arms), often following the path of affected nerves.
  • Numbness or Weakness: Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet due to nerve compression.
  • Difficulty Walking or Balance Issues: Problems with walking, balance, or coordination, especially in more advanced cases.
  • Leg or Arm Pain: Pain in the legs (sciatica) or arms due to nerve compression, often worsened with activity and relieved with rest.
  • Bowel or Bladder Dysfunction: Rarely, severe cases of spinal stenosis can lead to bowel or bladder dysfunction, causing difficulty with urination or bowel movements.
  • Stiffness or Cramping: Stiffness or cramping in the back, neck, or extremities, especially during physical activity.
  • Paresthesia: Abnormal sensations like pins and needles, burning, or prickling in the affected areas.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Difficulty bending or twisting the spine, with a decreased range of motion.
  • Sciatica: Pain, weakness, or numbness that travels down the buttocks and the back of the leg, often due to lumbar spinal stenosis.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can worsen over time or with certain activities, such as walking or standing for prolonged periods. If you experience persistent back or neck pain, radiating pain, or neurological symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional, often a neurologist or orthopedic specialist, for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

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