Spinal stenosis is caused by the narrowing of the small spinal canal containing the spinal cord and nerve roots which become compressed. The “pinching” of the nerves leads to pain, numbness, or weakness which may be felt in the neck, shoulders, arms, lower back, and legs. Such symptoms are most often felt in the lower back and start gradually and get worse over time. People with spinal stenosis may have difficulties in walking for long periods of time and feel the need to lean forward to relieve the pressure. Patients with more severe cases have problems in their sexual abilities and in controlling their bladder and bowel movements.
This condition is often caused by the thickening or “wear and tear” of the discs between the bones of the back (vertebrae) and the spinal column. Other causes include spinal injury, tumor, surgery, bone diseases, and spinal tumor. The symptoms are most often presented by elderly women. Spinal stenosis is usually treated with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, and surgery.