Spinal stenosis is a narrowing between the vertebrae in the spine that causes irritation of the spinal cord or the nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. This usually occurs after the age of 50, but can happen in younger people ie. born with abnormalities in the spine or getting an injury of the spine.
Stenosis can happen in the low back or the neck. When it is in the low back, symptoms can include low back pain, often better with sitting or flexing the low back, pain radiating into the buttocks and legs, often worse with walking and better with rest, numbness or tingling feelings in the back or legs, and weakness in one or both legs.
Cervical stenosis symptoms include neck pain, pain that radiates into the arms and hands, numbness or tingling feelings in the arms and hands, and weakness in the arms or hands.
Treatment for stenosis can include strengthening of the deep, spine-stabilizing muscles which can help reduce pain and improve function. Sometimes walking aids are recommended. Often we consider spinal mobilization or manipulation and acupuncture. We also recommend activity pacing, relaxation and even meditation.