What is Spinal Stenosis?
On this page, we explain what spinal stenosis is. Also, you can learn about the causes, symptoms and diagnostic methods for spinal canal stenosis.
What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis ?
The tubular space surrounded by the spine which is formed of stacked vertebral bones is called the spinal canal. The fibrous nerve bundle cauda equina passes through the cervical part from the brain, the spinal cord of the chest, and the dura mater of the spinal canal leading to the lumbar part. In the spinal canal, the nerves branch out to each direction. Lumbar spinal stenosis is the disease that the spinal canal for protecting the nerves becomes narrower. Therefore the nerves get damaged by the blood vessels neighboring the nerves are compressed, then the lower back pain or the numbness of the limbs occur.
Causes and Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is caused by that the spinal canal congenitally becomes narrower, or the spinal cord or the nerve root are compressed - because the ligament for connecting vertebral bodies become thickened and ossified or osteophyte of the vertebral body are caused by the deterioration of the blood flow. Therefore lower back pain, a sense of discomfort, a feeling of tension, a pain and numbness in the legs, a deteriorated grip, and urination disorder may occur. Also, intermittent claudication is one of the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis. Intermittent claudication is that the pain and numbness in the legs occur during walking, but is alleviated after resting and becomes possible to take exercise again. It is difficult to recognize to be a disease as the progress is slow, so often becomes chronic. To anyone, the spinal canal may become narrower as it is one of the aging phenomenon.
Diagnosis of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is diagnosed by a medical interview, physical findings, neural reflex, paresthesia and muscle strength. Depending on the site where the symptoms appear, it is revealed which nerve is in disorder. Also, if stenosis is seen in the spinal canal by X-P, MRI and CT image, it is diagnosed as lumbar spinal canal stenosis.
Treatment of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
In the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, there are conservative therapy and operative therapy. In conservative therapy, "medication therapy" used steroid and lyrica (neuropathic pain medication), "physiotherapy" which includes traction therapy and heat therapy and gymnastic therapy, "exercise therapy" to strengthen the muscle of the body surface and the core of iliopsoas muscle. And also "nerve block therapy" is for removing the pain by injecting a local anesthetic to the place the nerve aches. If elaborate exercise disorders such as walk disorder or difficulties for using both hands occur, there also is a case that early surgery is desirable.
Way to Manage Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
It is important to adjust the whole body by the physical constitution improvement. The symptom of the compressed nerve comes out easily when bending the back. It is advisable to take a relatively easy posture of the forward bending.
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