Spinal Stenosis 

What is Spinal Stenosis?


Our spine is a complicated structure of vertebrates, tissues, ligaments, and muscles that helps us to stand erect and do all kinds of activities. Through this spine passes the spinal nerve as if it is running through a tunnel. This central nerve is surrounded by tissues to protect it. As age passes by and due to wear-tear, the spinal column openings (foramina) get narrower thereby compressing the spinal nerve. This can lead to an extremely painful condition called spinal stenosis.

 

There are three types of spinal stenosis:

  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis: This stenosis occurs in the neck.

  • Thoracic Spinal Stenosis: Occurring in the abdomen.

  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This stenosis occurs in the lower back. 

Causes of Spinal Stenosis


Spinal stenosis is caused by a variety of reasons but mainly it is caused due to aging. Many times, underlying or external conditions also trigger the narrowing of the spinal nerve space.

 

  • Osteoarthritis: Arthritis can cause wearing out of your spinal column bones and cartilage causing inflammation to the nerve. Sometimes, it can cause bone growth which might pinch the spine.

  • Herniated Disc: The discs are cushions in the spine between two vertebrates. If they get herniated or move out of their space then they can pinch the spinal nerve.

  • Scoliosis: It is a deformity in the curvature of the spine when it gets curved from the sides. This can lead to pinching of the spinal nerve.

  • Tumor growth: A growing tumor might invade the spinal column leading to pinching of the nerve.

  • Birth Defects: Sometimes a person is born with a small spinal cavity.

  • Injury or Trauma: Due to an accident, the spinal column might have been damaged leading to its narrowing.

  • Thickening Ligaments: As ligaments get thicker, they encroach upon the spinal cavity thereby putting pressure on the nerve.

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Diagnosis and Treatment for Spinal Stenosis


Detailed physical examinations are conducted at Dunes Pain Clinic for an accurate diagnosis. The physician might perform diagnostic procedures like:

  • Physically feeling your spine to identify the pain point and ask you about your medical history.

  • Imaging scans like XRay/CT-Scans/MRIs might be performed for a detailed view of the spine.

  • To check the velocity of an electric signal through the nerve, electromyography might be performed.

 

At Dunes Pain Clinic, an amalgamation of various treatment methods like conservative therapies, invasive and non-invasive therapies might be used for spinal stenosis. The below therapies can be performed:

 

  • A physiotherapist might make you do muscle and stretching exercises to relax the pain.

  • Self-help remedies like ice or hot packs might be applied along with mild stretching. You can get yourself massaged too.

  • Medication might consist of OTC analgesics, muscle relaxants, opioid-based medicines, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Minimally invasive methods can include procedures like corticosteroid-anesthetic spinal injections and microdiscectomy (in case of herniated disc).

  • Acupuncture and acupressure might also be used in giving relief from spinal stenosis pain.

 

If at all the situation is not improving, your physician might refer you for decompression surgery.

 

Call Dunes Pain for an appointment!