Spinal Stenosis is the shortening of spaces in the spine. This puts pressure on nerves that travel through the spine. It is generally caused by wear and tear of the spine through ageing, but it can also be caused by overgrowth of the bones. Herniated discs can progress to Spinal Stenosis. Thickening of ligaments around the spine can also lead on to Spinal Stenosis. Physical injury to the spine can also bring about Spinal Stonosis. On rare occasions it s even caused by tumours in the spine.
It can give rise to pain, weakness of the muscles and numbness. Sometimes a person suffering from it can find difficulty in keeping his/her balance. It can cause incontinence and in very severe cases it can result in paralysis.
People who suffer from this condition are usually aged over 50.
Some people experience no outward symptoms but the Spinal Stenosis can be observed on a scan. The Stenosis can occur in the neck or in the lumbar spine.
When it occurs in the neck (cervical spine), symptoms include neck pain, bowel or bladder problems, weakness or numbness in the limbs.
When it occurs in the lower back (the lumbar spine) symptoms usual involve numbness, tingling, weakness or cramp in the feet or the legs.