Why You Should Start Treatment Immediately If You Are Suffering From Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis, Dr. Pai, Pain Management Group

The nerves of your body like a quiet life, and when they’re disturbed, you’ll know about it because of the signals of pain that they send. Nerves from throughout your body route through the spinal cord to your brain, so the complex design of vertebrae and soft tissue is crucial for the protection for this major nerve bundle.

Some disorders of the spine can intrude on the space meant for your spinal cord. When this space is reduced, it’s called spinal stenosis. If you have this condition, you may not have any symptoms, if the reduction isn’t irritating any nerves. However, once nerve tissue becomes involved, you may experience a wide range of effects. Spinal stenosis often starts due to degenerative conditions, so without treatment, your nerve issues may progress.

The causes of spinal stenosis

Conditions that cause the bones of your spine to change can interfere with the space meant for nerve tissue. Osteoarthritis and its accompanying bone spurs are a frequent culprit, and Paget’s disease also causes bone overgrowth. As you get older, ligaments can become thicker, less flexible, and in some cases can protrude into the nerve path.

Trauma causing damage to the spinal, such as car accidents or sports injuries, can displace or dislocate bone. Tumors that affect the spine can also crowd the tight spaces of the spinal canal. Herniated disks often bulge into the nerve path, but in many cases, these will heal spontaneously with time.

Complications of spinal stenosis

Stenosis can hit anywhere along your spine, but it’s most common in the neck, the cervical vertebrae, or the lower back, in the lumbar vertebrae. Since stenosis most often results from wear-and-tear conditions, people over 50 are more at risk, and symptoms may not clear without medical intervention. When left untreated, spinal stenosis can cause complications.

Reduced mobility

You may start to have trouble walking without pain, and you may be most comfortable when you sit, leading to a less active, sedentary lifestyle. Other activities may become less enjoyable because of the discomfort or pain that accompanies stenosis. Your balance may suffer as a result. When stenosis originates from osteoarthritis, less activity may cause the condition to worsen. Eventually, stenosis could progress to the point of disability or paralysis.

Increased discomfort and pain

Once a nerve becomes irritated, pain may radiate from the point of the stenosis, or it may be felt elsewhere along the nerve’s path. Without treatment, these effects may expand or extend. For instance, stenosis affecting the sciatic nerve can cause numbness, discomfort, or pain from the lower back to the feet. These sensations may become permanent over time.

Bladder and bowel incontinence

The last major branch of nerves out of the lower spine is called the cauda equina, and if certain nerves of this bundle become affected by stenosis, autonomic functions of bladder and bowel function may become impaired. These symptoms often develop slowly, but when they occur suddenly, you could have an urgent medical issue.

If you have any reason to suspect spinal stenosis is causing your symptoms, contact Dr. Pai at Pain Management Group to investigate the extent of your condition. There’s no need to live life in ongoing pain. Call today, or send Dr. Pai a message from the website.

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