Your spinal cord travels through a canal, which is an opening located in the center of your bony spinal column. A narrowing of the spinal canal and the spinal nerve passageways, which presses the nerves that extend from the spinal cord to the rest of your body, causes spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis symptoms can look and feel like those of other spine problems. Your Dignity Health Central Coast neurologist will likely use diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, to accurately diagnose your condition.
Find a Doctor today to determine what’s causing your spinal stenosis in on the Central Coast and receive personal care.
Exploring Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis at Dignity Health Central Coast
Spinal stenosis mainly affects adults older than 50. It typically develops slowly over the course of many years. If you have spinal stenosis, you may have had a few signs, or none at all, in the early stages of the condition. You may be experiencing pain now that the condition has worsened.
Symptoms of this condition, which is considered a movement disorder, vary depending on the location of the narrowing along your spine. In general, you may experience neck or back pain, or tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in your legs and arms
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
The main causes of spinal stenosis are osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. Discs providing cushion and flexibility can be found between each bony vertebra in your spine. These discs can wear down, or degenerate, with age. If this happens, the vertebrae can start to rub together, contributing to spinal arthritis, or the degeneration of the spinal joints.
How does your body respond? By producing an abnormal amount of bone spurs. As these calcifications build, they cause spinal nerve passageways to shrink and result in increased pressure on your spinal nerves.
Certain conditions, such as scoliosis or spinal injuries, can increase your risk of spinal stenosis.
Identifying Treatments for Spinal Stenosis
When developing your personalized treatment plan, your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor will focus on opening up the spinal canal. This process can relieve pressure on the spinal cord, ease symptoms, and protect your spine’s health.
Common spinal stenosis treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Epidural spinal injection
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Corticosteroid medications taken by mouth
- Surgery if other treatments fail to provide relief
Prevention techniques can help with limiting degenerative changes in your spine. You can support your spine’s health by practicing good posture, strengthening your back and abdominal muscles, and promoting bone health by eating nutritious food.
Get in touch one of our expert neurologists today to learn more about how treatments can manage your spinal stenosis on the Central Coast and return you to your daily routines.
Dignity Health’s team of doctors provide quality, personal care for a range of neurological conditions, including spinal stenosis, throughout the Central Coast of California.