Do you have difficulty walking, walk with a limp, or need to walk slower or shorter distances? You could be experiencing Spinal Stenosis, a back condition resulting in the narrowing or pinching of your spinal cord that causes pressure on both the spinal cord and the nerves that flow through it. It is most common in the lower (lumbar region) part of the spine and upper (cervical region) part of the spine. Lumbar spinal stenosis and cervical spinal stenosis produce similar symptoms, but in different parts of the body.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE SPINAL STENOSIS?
Spinal stenosis is most common for those 45 years and older, due to the natural aging process, or patients who have experienced a back or neck injury. Pain is normally the first symptom, due to the additional pressure put on the spine. Patients will also have symptoms such as tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in either the arms and hands or legs and feet – this depends on the area of the spine the stenosis is occurring.
Cervical spinal stenosis will cause these symptoms to occur in the arms and hands, while lumbar spinal stenosis will cause similar symptoms in the legs and feet. It’s not uncommon for patients to experience sudden, sharp pain that radiates down the arms or legs, and in more severe cases bladder and bowel dysfunction is experienced.