As people age, arthritic changes and overgrowth of the vertebral bones can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal. Also known as spinal stenosis, the decreased space in the column can be painless or may result in specific symptoms. The experienced Los Angeles spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration share some early warning signs that may be indicative of the condition, helping those with pain seek help as soon as possible.
Lumbar Stenosis Symptoms
If a patient is experiencing difficulty walking, numbness and tingling in the legs, and low back pain, they may be suffering from a shrinkage in the area of the spinal canal in their lumbar, or lower back region. The discomfort usually increases with prolonged standing or walking, and the pain may take a few minutes to subside after the individual sits or lies down. The symptoms usually develop very slowly over a period of time, and the discomfort may come and go rather than being continuous.
Thoracic Warning Signs
Thoracic spinal stenosis is a reduction in the space in the spinal column that occurs in the middle section of a patient’s back. It is seen much less commonly than stenosis of the neck and lower lumbar region, and is usually caused by an underlying disease that causes an overgrowth of bone. Patients may encounter a decrease in sensation around their mid-sections, and altered ambulation may occur along with stiff thigh and calf muscles with a burning sensation in the legs.
Narrowing in the Cervical Spine
When the space around the spine becomes small in the cervical or neck region, individuals may have pain and stiffness around their necks and shoulders. Other symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms and legs may also be present. In severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control may occur.
Individuals who are living with chronic pain or discomfort will likely undergo a spinal procedure such as decompression surgery to relieve the pressure from the spinal cord and nerves. If you are living with spinal stenosis and want to know if you would be a candidate for spine surgery, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration today at 310-828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation – our spine specialists and surgeons are here to help.