Spinal Stenosis Treatment
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spaces within your spine start to narrow, placing pressure on the nerves traveling through the spine and causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the neck, shoulders, and arms or lower back, buttocks, and legs. This is usually the result of age-related degeneration or arthritis. In fact, up to 95% of adults experience changes to their spine by the age of 50.
In addition to arthritis, conditions that can lead to spinal stenosis include:
- Spinal tumors
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal trauma (e.g., from a car accident)
- Herniated discs
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Spinal stenosis may occur in the neck or low back, although it is more common in the lumbar area. The condition doesn’t always cause symptoms, but when it does, they may include:
- Radiating pain in the neck, arms, hands, back, buttocks, or legs
- Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
- Worsening pain when standing or walking
- Decreased pain when sitting or bending forward
- Sciatica, a burning pain that radiates from your lower back and down your leg
In the neck, if the space within the spinal canal becomes too narrow, the spinal cord may be compressed. This condition is called myelopathy. Cervical stenosis with myelopathy may be referred to as cervical spondylotic (degenerative) myelopathy. This condition can cause severe nerve damage and complications such as paralysis if not treated as early as possible.
Dr. Bradley D. Ahlgren and his team of physician assistants offer a variety of treatments at our offices in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan.
To start, Dr. Ahlgren will perform a physical examination and review your symptoms and medical history. He may also order diagnostic tests, such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan, or bone scan. These are painless procedures designed to provide visual information about the structure and condition of your spine.
If you are diagnosed with this condition, our team of providers will develop a treatment plan aimed at reducing your pain. More often than not, lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms can be improved with nonsurgical treatments, such as pain-relieving medication, epidural steroid injections, and physical therapy.
However, if your neck or back pain persists following these measures, Dr. Ahlgren may recommend surgery, such as anterior cervical decompression and fusion for the neck or lumbar decompression (laminectomy) for the low back, both of which reduce pressure on the spinal cord by widening the spinal canal.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan
If you have neck or back pain, you deserve to know what’s causing it and how you can relieve your pain. For more information about the care and treatment for spinal stenosis, call Ahlgren Spine today at (248) 215-8080 or request an appointment online.