Stenosis defines a condition typified by the narrowing of channels in the body, and in the case of lumbar spinal stenosis, it is a result of the narrowing of nerve channels in the lumbar spinal region. This condition becomes far more prevalent when a patient passes the age of 50 and presents with symptoms that include numbness, weakness, and pain in the region where nerves are suffering compression.
Lumbar spinal stenosis can occur as a result of a number of factors, including spinal injuries, herniated discs, overgrown bone, and tumors. Treatment of lumbar stenosis is possible, especially if it’s caught in its earliest stages before advanced symptoms occur. One of the most common symptoms that appears with lumbar stenosis is sciatica (pain of the legs) or claudication (pain in the legs while walking). This condition is treated by your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV at the Khavkin Clinic, call for an appointment today.
1. What are the most common symptoms associated with lumbar spinal stenosis?
The most common symptom that reveals lumbar spinal stenosis is sciatica, a radiating pain that extends down the legs either when stationary or mobile. Additionally, weakness may occur in those limbs, along with numbness and in severe cases loss of use. In severely advanced, and emergent, cases loss of bowel and bladder control can occur.
2. Does stenosis ever occur in the thoracic region of the back?
While most common in the cervical and lumbar regions (neck and lower back) thoracic presentation isn’t unheard of. However, the limited mobility found in the upper back tends to limit the appearance of this condition.
3. Is lumbar stenosis more common in older people?
The passage of time brings more and more wear and tear to the body, especially the joints and spine. It is this fact that makes stenosis in general far more common in those of advanced age, there has simply been more time for the damage to build up over time.
4. Can lumbar stenosis improve with rest?
Lumbar stenosis patients can find some relief with relaxation and bed rest, but an extended period of inactivity will actually aggravate the condition and speed the degradation of the spinal joint. Careful activity has actually been shown to prevent the advancement of the condition and reduce symptoms.
5. What methods are used to treat lumbar stenosis?
Every case requires individual consideration before a treatment method is decided on, however, the treatment methods begin as conservative as possible. Pain relievers are often prescribed in the milder cases, with over the counter medication sufficient to relieve the pain and swelling elements of the condition. For those suffering from insomnia, anti-depressants are often prescribed to aid sleep, and anti-seizure medication can help symptoms caused by nerve compression. Narcotic pain relievers are used only in the most severe cases, and permanent treatments are used to eliminate the need for these as soon as possible.
6. Is surgery ever used to treat lumbar stenosis?
Lumbar stenosis typically doesn’t require the use of surgery to treat, and it is avoided if at all possible due to the complications that can arise. More conservative treatments are used whenever possible to ease the symptoms and prevent the advancement of the condition. In the most severe cases, there are minimally invasive treatments that can be used to speed recovery and limit healing time while avoiding the most severe side effects of surgery.