Greektown Danforth

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the space within the spine, leading to compression of the spinal cord and nerves that traverse through it. This ailment predominantly affects the lower back and neck regions.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can vary widely, with some individuals experiencing no discomfort, while others may endure pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. In certain cases, these symptoms can progress over time.

The principal cause of spinal stenosis can be attributed to wear-and-tear changes within the spine, often associated with arthritis. Severe instances of spinal stenosis may necessitate surgical intervention to create additional space within the spine, thereby alleviating the symptoms arising from pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. It is essential to recognize that although surgery can mitigate these symptoms, it cannot cure the pain associated with arthritis in the spine.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis are contingent on the specific region of the spine that is affected:

  • In the lower back, individuals may experience pain or cramping in one or both legs, particularly when standing or walking. Symptoms tend to ameliorate when bending forward or sitting. Back pain may also manifest.

  • In the neck, spinal stenosis can result in various symptoms, including numbness, tingling, or weakness in a hand, leg, foot, or arm. This may be accompanied by issues related to walking, balance, neck pain, and disturbances in bowel or bladder function.

Causes of spinal stenosis encompass:

  1. Bone Spurs and Herniated Disks: Arthritis-related wear-and-tear damage can prompt the growth of bone spurs that encroach upon the spinal canal. Herniated disks, characterized by the leakage of the soft inner material of the disk, can also exert pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

  2. Thick Ligaments: Over time, the strong cords responsible for holding the spinal bones together may become stiff and thick, potentially causing compression within the spinal canal.

  3. Tumors: Although rare, tumors can develop within the spinal canal.

  4. Spinal Injuries: Traumatic events such as car accidents can result in the breakage or displacement of spinal bones. Swelling in nearby tissue following back surgery can also lead to the compression of the spinal cord or nerves.

Risk factors for spinal stenosis are often linked to age, with the majority of cases occurring in individuals over the age of 50. Younger people may be at an elevated risk if they have underlying conditions like scoliosis or other spinal issues.

Greektown (Danforth) in Toronto

Andrew Chan, R.H.N., DOMP, B.Sc., DO (Euro)

Andrew Chan, R.H.N., DOMP, B.Sc., DO (Euro)

Heena Vora,
MPT

Heena Vora,
MPT

Amir Kazemi, BSC,DOMP, DO(E), PhD

Amir Kazemi, BSC,DOMP, DO(E), PhD

Joey Dao, RMT Registered Massage Therapist

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