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Spinal stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can occur from thickening of ligaments (tissue that connects two bones), bulging of discs, or overgrowth of bone. The spinal sac and nerve fibers that exit the spinal canal (nerve roots) can become crowded and pinched. This may lead to pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the back and legs. This pain is especially noted while walking.
Healthy Spinal Canal Narrowed Spinal Canal
Spinal stenosis is the gradual result of aging and “wear and tear” on the spine from everyday activities. There are many reasons why the nerves become compressed, but the most common causes are:
- Lumbar disc herniation
— A “slipped disc”
— Inflammation in the joints where two vertebrae meet and move
— When one vertebra slips forward in front of the other
Most patients who experience back and leg symptoms from spinal stenosis will never need a surgery. The most common non-surgical treatments include:
- Patient education
- Weight loss
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only and does not replace having a conversation with your doctor.