Spinal stenosis is a growing issue as the population’s life expectancy continues to climb; of course, you don’t have to be elderly to suffer from it. If you or a loved one has this you know just how debilitating it can be to your well being. Numbness in some areas, or pain in others, from head to toe. There are cases where spinal stenosis causes weakness, and in other cases, it causes severe cramping in the pain or thighs. Intense pain can shoot down the leg of a spinal stenosis sufferer at any time. It can produce chronic bowel problems that make it difficult to venture out of their home. It can also be the sources of sexual dysfunction such as ED or numbness in the vagina. For many spinal stenosis suffers, it appears as if there is no chance of overcoming their pain and uncomfortable or painful symptoms. Understandably, it can bring about despair and even depression. But we will see that there is hope.
Understanding Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots show some symptoms of back pain including, weakness, numbness or tingling that reaches to the buttocks, thighs, hips, lower legs, and feet; all of which are due to never compression. It is usually related to degeneration or arthritis in the spine and usually manifests in people in their 40s and 50s. It can occur in the lower back region or the neck.
There are a number of types of spinal stenosis. One of the more common forms is lumbar spinal stenosis. This type makes up 75% of cases in the lower back, along with an affected sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve that runs down the leg. There are other causes such as herniated discs, bone overgrowth, thick ligaments, and spinal injury. Since there are various causes of spinal stenosis, each different reason requires a separate treatment and management approach.
Treating Spinal Stenosis
The types of treatments depend on the type a person has and its severity. Be sure to discuss treatment with your physician before taking any action. Here are some of the options for treatment.
In most cases, surgery will be required to rectify the conditions caused by spinal stenosis. The goal of surgery will be to relieve the pressure on the spine or nerve roots that are compressed. There are several different types of surgery that can bring about relief. Although surgery is effective, it may not always get rid of the whole condition. Be sure to discuss the risk to reward ratio of the type of surgery you will undergo with your surgeon before proceeding. As with all surgeries, there is a certain amount of danger in having the procedure, so be sure that your condition is severe enough to warrant it.
Other Treatments For Spinal Stenosis
In cases where there are thickened ligaments, a needle-like device is used to remove a portion of a thickened ligament in the back of the spinal column to improve spinal canal space and remove nerve root obstruction.
Your nerve roots can become irritated and enlarged where they are being pinched off. Injecting a steroid into the affected space will not cure spinal stenosis; it may reduce inflammation and bring some relief.
In less severe cases physical therapy and medication may be enough to allow a spinal stenosis sufferer to resume a normal life. It may take weeks or months before the therapy takes effect.
If you are suffering from spinal stenosis, contact your doctor to discuss treatment options that are right for you. Most health care insurance carriers cover treatments because of its debilitating effects. Check with your provider to make sure the condition is covered before you agree to any treatment.
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