Osteoarthritis is a condition which affects millions of Americans, causing pain and inflammation of the joints. For an unfortunate few of this group, the condition will go on to affect the spine in a condition known as spinal stenosis. In total, about 5 out of every 1000 adults over the age of 50 will exhibit symptoms of spinal stenosis.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
The spine houses 31 pairs of nerves. Each pair correlates with a specific region of the human body and facilitates direct communication between that region and the brain. This communication is what allows the body to move and function as it normally does. In patients with spinal stenosis, regions of the spine become narrower and compress the nerves. In turn, painful and bothersome symptoms can result, with specific complications depending on the location of the narrowing.
Symptoms of Cervical Spinal Stenosis
When stenosis occurs in the upper / neck portion of the spine, it is known as cervical stenosis. The symptoms commonly associated with this form include:
- Numbness and/or tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Clumsiness of the hands
- Problems with balance and walking
- Neck pain
- Burning or tingling sensations in the arm or leg
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction in severe cases
Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
When stenosis occurs in the lower back, it is known as lumbar stenosis. This is the most common form of the condition and can produce side effects such as:
- Pain in the lower back and/or legs, especially pain that improves when sitting or bending forward
- Numbness and/or tingling in the legs or buttocks
- Weakness in the feet or legs
- Burning or tingling sensations in the legs
Treating Spinal Stenosis in Baton Rouge
Spinal stenosis can be a painful and debilitating condition for many patients. If you are suffering from complications related to cervical or lumbar stenosis, it is important to seek medical attention with an orthopedic specialist who can help devise a treatment plan that works best for you. If you are in the Baton Rouge area, contact the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge, and request a consultation with one of our spine specialists.