Spinal stenosis is a disease that causes the spaces in the spine to become narrow. As they become narrow, they put pressure on the nerves in your spinal cord. Some individuals are fortunate in that their spinal stenosis does not cause any signs or symptoms. For others, spinal stenosis is an excruciating disease, leading to numbness, muscle weakness, tingling, and some of the most severe pain a person can survive. Spinal stenosis comes from wear and tear or changes in the spine connected to osteoarthritis.“I had pain like I never felt before. I felt like I was being electrocuted. I am bedridden, and I cannot enjoy a day, not one minute, that I do not experience pain. I want to drive my car into a brick wall.” This is how one person describes the intensity of their spinal stenosis pain.If you are dealing with spinal stenosis pain, we empathize with what you are enduring. We understand how painful and how debilitating this disease can be. Our goal is to work with you in creating a pain management system that can help you minimize your pain and restore you to a better quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?
Your x-rays may show that you had spinal stenosis before you started to exhibit symptoms. However, when they started, they started gradually. Over time, they got worse. The symptoms that you will experience will vary depending on where the spinal stenosis is located.
If you have spinal stenosis in the cervical spine, which is in your neck, then you might experience pain and tingling in your extremities. Your balance may be affected, and you may experience incontinence as a result of damaged nerves in your bladder or bowel.
Lumbar spine stenosis can leave you with pain in your legs, especially when you stand for an extended period of time. Walking does not ease the pain. Sitting may make the pain dissipate.
Describing how lumbar spinal stenosis has affected her life, one 48-year-old female sufferer said, “My pain has lasted for more than a year. It is just recently that I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Working has become impossible. I have constant pain in my lumbar region, my feet, and my legs. Physical therapy is too painful. Spinal stenosis has affected me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was once active, but now it hurts too bad to do anything.”
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
For some people, spinal stenosis is congenital. They are born with a smaller than usual spinal canal. However, for most people spinal stenosis happens when an injury or something occurs that reduces the amount of space available in the spine. This could include:
- Excessive bone growth. Osteoarthritis creates wear and tear on the bones in your spine, which can lead to the growth of bone spurs. Paget’s disease has also been known to cause excessive bone growth in the spine.
- Disc herniations. Discs in your back are shock absorbers. As you get older, they dry out. As they dry, they crack, and some of the gel-like material inside the disc may start to escape the narrow in the space in the spinal cord, putting pressure on the nerves.
- Thickened ligaments. Ligaments are what keep the bones in your spine together. With time, they can become thick, eventually bulging into the spinal canal.
- Tumors. Tumors can grow on your spine between the membranes that cover the spinal cord, or they may grow in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrate.
- Injuries. Automobile accidents, sports injuries, work injuries, and other forms of trauma may dislocate or fracture one or multiple vertebrate. Thus, the contents of your spinal canal are damaged, thereby putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
A 58-year-old sufferer said recently that she was diagnosed with lumbar stenosis. Multiple times she has gotten to the point where she has had to lay in bed for months. She had to crawl on the floor and could not walk. “I hope it will not get worse,” she says. “I hope I do not end up paralyzed.”
Most spinal stenosis patients are 50 years of age or older. When a younger person has spinal stenosis, it is because they usually have some genetic disease that affects the way bone and muscle is developing in their body.
How We Can Help
You did not ask to live with the pain of spinal stenosis, and yet you suffer with it just the same. We empathize with how you feel. We want to help you feel better.
To this end, when you come into one of our clinic locations, the very first thing we are going to do is listen to you. We want to hear about your pain. Once we have a clear picture of your unique and individual situation, we will work with you to devise a pain management program that is equally unique and equally individualized.
We know that spinal stenosis pain can be relentless, but we are equally relentless when it comes to our desire to help you feel better. We will not give up on you.
During our initial consultation, we are going to work with you and devise a long-term and short-term pain management and treatment. When you leave our clinic, you know exactly the steps we are going to follow to help you and what will be expected of you as we go through the treatment program together.
Spinal stenosis is a painful disease. But it does not have to define who you are. Contact us, and let us show you how our pain management therapies can help you get back to living the quality of life you deserve.