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Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis:
This condition causes pain through narrowing of the spinal canal where the nerve roots are located. The narrowing can be central, forminal, or both, and can be at a single level or multiple levels in the lower back.

In the medical field, stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a body channel. When combined with the word spinal, it defines a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord.

Some people are born with a congenital form, but most develop spinal stenosis as part of the degenerative cascade. A few do not feel any effects of the narrowing, but as part of the aging process, most people will eventually notice radiating pain, weakness, and/or numbness secondary to the compression of the nerves or spinal cord.

While the narrowing may occur at different parts of the spine, the symptoms of nerve compression are often similar. That is why specialists often will perform testing to determine the cause and location of the narrowing. In lumbar (low back) stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back become compressed and this can produce symptoms of sciatica—tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs—especially with activity.

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