Spinal stenosis is a condition caused by the deterioration of the spine, most often due to an injury or years of wear and tear. Spinal stenosis actually has three variations. The type of spinal stenosis you have depends on the location of the narrowing. Lumbar spinal stenosis affects the lumbar region, thoracic affects the region in the middle of the back, and the cervical spinal stenosis affects the upper back. The reason why the type of spinal stenosis needs to be determined is that it will guide your doctor in treatment.
This type of stenosis is a narrowing of the neck’s spinal canal due to disc degeneration. Patients with cervical stenosis may experience neck pain, coordination problems, and may feel clumsy, particularly with how their arms and hands work. Legs and balance may also be impacted since the signals from the brain are affected due to the narrowing in the cervical canal.
This is the most common type of spinal stenosis and affects the lumbar region. Doctors also refer to it as lateral spinal stenosis. With foraminal stenosis, the degenerated disc presses against the emerging nerve root and pinches it as it exits the spinal canal through the neuro-foramen in the lumbar region. The degenerated disc causes the spinal canal to narrow, which irritates and inflames the nerve root and causes symptoms associated with foraminal stenoses such as pain, weakness, tingling, numbness, and a pins and needles sensation.
This type of spinal stenosis is the result of the narrowing of the central canal due to degenerative conditions, trauma, or infection. It is characterized by a narrowing in the central canal located in the lumbar region. The narrowing can compress the nerves at the end of the spinal cord and cause symptoms such as hip, leg, and foot pain and stiffness. As it progresses, you may begin to feel a heaviness in your lower extremities and experience a burning sensation. It may also affect your bladder and bowel control.
Far Lateral Stenosis
Apart from a narrowing in the spinal canal as a result of foraminal stenosis, an additional narrowing can occur in the lateral part of the neuro-foramen caused by a herniation of the far lateral disc. This type of spinal stenosis is called far lateral stenosis. It may be due to the growth of the bone spurs or bulging and herniated discs. Patients with far lateral stenosis experience severe radicular pain, with leg pain being worse than lower back pain.
Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis and Treatment in Rochester Hills
If you are suffering from neck and back pain that radiates to your extremities, have the skilled spine specialists at Ahlgren Spine evaluate your condition through a physical examination and image-guided diagnostics, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
If we diagnose you with spinal stenosis, our team will create a highly individualized treatment plan to prevent the progression of the condition and relieve your pain using a combination of nonsurgical and surgical treatments.
To schedule a consultation with us, contact Ahlgren Spine at (248) 215-8080 or submit an appointment request now.