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postheadericon Stenosis of the Spine

The spine is perhaps one of the most significant groups of bones in the body, seeing that it houses and shields the spinal cord, which is essential for any person to enjoy a normal life. Any damage that may happen to the spine can have serious repercussions, such as intense back pain, which may extend from the neck, lower back, and down to the legs, weakness and a tingling feeling both often manifesting in the lower extremities, long term paralysis, and even death. One generally major issue with the spine and the spinal cord is the stenosis of the spine.

In medical terms, the constricting of the spinal canal, the space where the spinal cord can be found, is referred to as spinal stenosis and as it becomes narrower, possibility of impingement of nerve roots and the spinal cord itself by different factors becomes greater. Spinal stenosis, as the name suggests, can happen anywhere in the spine, though in many cases, the lumbar or lower back area is the most common area where spinal stenosis happens, which is typically known as lumbar spinal stenosis.

While there are numerous aspects that can cause spinal stenosis, degenerative arthritis is the most prevalent cause. As we age, our body becomes more prone to various conditions, like the degenerative arthritis. This can result in the loss of cartilage in the joints, development of bone spurs, incidence of degenerative disc disease, which is the degeneration of the spinal discs, and overgrowth of the ligamentous structures. In addition, spinal stenosis and eventually, nerve impingements can manifest with these indications. Naturally, numerous other identified aspects, like tumors, infections, and different metabolic bone disorders, can also be the reason of spinal stenosis.

Lower back pain and weakness, numbness, pain, and decline of feeling of the lower extremities can generally be felt with spinal stenosis. Oftentimes, the pain multiplies while the patient is standing or walking and decreases when lying down or leaning forward. Uncomfortable positions such as bending backwards can make the situation even worse.
Eventually, spinal stenosis declines, especially when it is brought on by a progressive disease such as degenerative arthritis. Without suitable treatment, serious conditions, such as the Caude Equina Syndrome, may occur, which is indicated by numerous neurological deficits that can have permanent effects.

Fortunately, when it involves spinal stenosis treatment, there are many easily obtainable drugs, exercises, and procedures in the market that can help alleviate or deal with this condition. In most cases, physicians would recommend the application of different conservative treatments, like medicines for the reduction of inflammation, short courses of oral cortisone medication, and different pain drugs. Alleviation of spinal stenosis can also be obtained through the application of nerve pain drugs, like gabapentin and pregabalin. For quicker alleviation, patients may also request steroid injections, which are instantly injected into the afflicted area to lessen inflammation and swelling.

When conventional treatments do not work, physicians may encourage spinal stenosis surgery as a last resort. Surgical procedures done for spinal stenosis generally focus on removing the nerve impingement and some of these procedures are laminectomy, laminotomy, and foraminotomy. Spinal and lumbar fusion may also be carried out together with these procedures, for some cases. Sadly, surgery is considered as a final resort for two reasons, which are the complications related to the procedures and the long recovery period.

For the alleviation and resolution of the stenosis of the spine, many individuals these days choose natural or home remedies, such as stretching exercises, physical therapy, and the use of the spinal decompression machine. The core muscles of the body can be strengthened purely by doing stretching and back strengthening exercises and a stronger back can help deal with nerve impingements faster. Spinal decompression therapy with a decompression machine can also help improve the condition by utilizing traction on the afflicted area.