Are you constantly ignoring your back pain? If you have pain in your back that is slowly but progressively getting worse and worse, it may be time to see an experienced orthopedist who can give you a quick but thorough evaluation. One of the issues that can cause unexplained but worsening back pain is spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal becomes narrowed, which can cause irritation and compression of your nerves in the spinal cord. This can lead to debilitating pain and other complications.
The following symptoms are key reasons to see your spine surgeon, because they may indicate spinal stenosis:
1. Severe and Worsening Back Pain or Leg Pain
Lumbar spinal stenosis can affect the lower back and one or both legs. Initially, the discomfort may be manageable; but if you do not have it addressed by a spine surgeon, and the spinal stenosis becomes worse, the pain may become excessively severe.
If the spinal stenosis causes compression of the sciatic nerve, this condition can cause sciatica. This results in pain, numbness, and weakness from your lower back and possibly all the way to your foot.
2. Trouble Controlling Your Bladder
Severe cases of spinal stenosis can cause you to lose bladder control. Interestingly, this is usually caused by stenosis in the cervical spine (neck region), but it can also be due to pressure on the lumbar nerves in the lower back.
3. Trouble Controlling Your Bowels
Similar to losing control of your bladder, you may also lose control of your bowels due to spinal stenosis. You can experience symptoms anywhere below the location of the stenosis, and the bowels are no exception.
4. New Numbness or Weakness
Given that your nerves govern feeling and control of your body, you might experience numbness and weakness if they are compressed or irritated in the spinal canal. Depending on what part of your spinal cord is compressed, you may feel weak or numb in your arms or legs.
You can experience numbness or weakness anywhere below the point of compression on your spine. If you feel a tingling numbness or experience loss of control in your limbs, seek the help of a spine surgeon right away. Even if you can manage the pain or inconvenience, neglecting treatment can make it more challenging to resolve in the long run.
5. Foot Drop
Spinal stenosis can also cause foot drop, which is when you have difficulty lifting the front part of your foot, thereby affecting how well you walk. Foot drop can indicate nerve damage in your spine.
Because this is a form of paralysis, it should be addressed by medical personnel right away. Leaving it unchecked may lead to additional problems in your foot and ankle, from either progression of the stenosis or injury to your feet when attempting to walk.
Spine Surgery in Rochester Hills, MI
If you have back pain that isn’t getting better, or if you have any problems moving your back, take charge of your health and have a consultation with Dr. Bradley Ahlgren. Our skilled medical team has offices in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Royal Oak for your convenience.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ahlgren, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (248) 215-8080 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to relieving your pain so that you can return to the good life you deserve.