With spinal stenosis, the area around the spinal cord or nerve roots narrows, causing pinching that results in pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling.
What causes it and what does it feel like?
Spinal stenosis is largely age-related, developing from degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis. However, spinal column fractures and spinal cord tumors can also be causes. The location of the pinched nerve determines where you feel the pain – cervical area pinches cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the neck or arm. Lumbar spine pinches cause pain and cramping in the legs.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is most frequently used to diagnose spinal stenosis. However, myelograms and CT scans can also be used. Your doctor will likely recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or prescription-strength medications if the pain is severe enough. Physical therapy, epidural steroid injections to the injured area, and surgery are also other treatment options.