Spinal stenosis

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Dr Turaj Yazdi / article / Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis

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The narrowing spaces within your spine is called Spinal stenosis. This disorder is caused by the pressure on the nerves and usually occurs in lower back and neck. In this article we are to provide you comprehensive information about Spinal stenosis.

What is spinal stenosis?

Our spine is not made together in order to be able to bend and straighten and move in different directions, but is made into pieces like rosary beads and then joined together. Each vertebrae is connected to the upper vertebrae by three buildings. One at the front, called the disc, and two at the back, called the facet. These buildings are connected by strong ligaments so that we can move back and forth and bend without moving our vertebrae. Consequently, there is a hole between the two vertebrae called the intervertebral foramen, and out of this hole comes a nerve root that goes to the lower limbs and causes the muscles to move. In some people in the community, these fasts or joints behind the vertebrae overgrow so there is no room for nerve roots. This condition is called spinal canal stenosis.

Spinal canal stenosis is the narrowing of the nerves which leads to the nerve protrudes. This narrowing of the spinal canal puts pressure on the nerve, resulting in pain and numbness.

Source: https://calspinemd.com/

Symptoms of spinal canal stenosis

The most common symptoms of this disorder are as follows:

۱- Pain in the lower back

۲- Pain and burning that starts from the buttocks and continues to the back of the thighs and legs. (In the path of the sciatic nerve) Sciatica may occur in both lower extremities or in only one lower extremity.

۳- Drowsiness of lower limbs (legs)

۴- Tingling of the lower limbs

۵- Cramps or r muscle spasms of the lower limbs

۶- Weakness and incapacity and weakening of the lower extremities

۷- Loss of foot feeling.

۸- Weakness in the legs, where usually a person cannot bring his toes and ankles up and walk on the heel of the foot, which is called Drop foot.

۹- Weakness of leg muscles so that a person cannot walk on the toes.

Read more: Spinal cancer

What are the types of spinal canal stenosis?

 Spinal canal stenosis is divided into different types, in terms of location, spinal canal stenosis is divided into three categories.

۱- Central type

۲- Environmental type

۳- Type of stenosis of the intervertebral foramen.

Both clinically and MRI, each of these three types of stenosis has different symptoms. But in advanced patients, all three parts are usually narrowed. Patients with central spinal canal stenosis usually present with intermittent lameness, meaning that the patient develops leg fatigue after standing or walking for a while and is practically unable to continue walking and has to rest for a few minutes and then continue walking. Patients with peripheral spinal canal stenosis show symptoms of nerve root pain as well as varying degrees of intermittent lameness. Patients with type 3 stenosis, in which only the nerve hole is narrowed, present with severe shooting pain in the lower extremities that is similar to that of a lumbar disc rupture and usually lacks intermittent claudication.

What are the causes of spinal canal stenosis?

Different factors may cause the disorder including:

۱- Increasing age:

Basically, people get spinal canal stenosis when they get older. This is because the joints behind the spine, called facets, wear out. Because as we age, our muscles weaken, our ligaments relax, and as a result, more pressure is put on the fasts, making them unstable and loose. Fasters have to increase their contact surface to compensate for this pressure and create stability in the spine and prevent loosening of the spine. That is, they have to grow up to be able to withstand the pressure of our weight, and this causes the spinal canal to narrow.

۲- Genetics:

In some people, the diameter of the spinal canal is smaller than in normal people.

۳- Heavy jobs:

Typically, those who have jobs whose backs move a lot when working, such as jobs that require bending to turn.

۴- Inheritance:

If your first degree family, such as their parents or siblings, suffer from spinal canal stenosis, you are likely to get this disorder. As a rule, the backbone of these people is similar to their close relatives.

۵- Congenital patients:

Like achondroplasias, these people have short limbs, large heads, and are prone to spinal stenosis. Because their spinal canal is small in diameter. After the age of 30, they develop symptoms of spinal canal stenosis. An MRI is done.

۶- Rheumatic diseases:

Like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, they can make a person more prone to spinal stenosis. Because in these diseases, the joints of the spine become inflamed and this inflammation increases their growth.

Source: http://drpramodsaini.com/

What are the ways to diagnose spinal stenosis?

The first way to diagnose spinal stenosis is to take a look at history of the patient. Such patients usually have intermittent lameness symptoms. That is, the patient experiences tingling fatigue, drowsiness, and pain in the lower limbs and lower back after walking for a while. After sitting and resting for a few minutes, he recovers and then continues on his way. Physical examination of these patients usually does not show muscle weakness because the stenosis of the spinal canal is a chronic disease and occurs over the years. Therefore, patients complain of burning, drowsiness, and head limb tingling, and pain is secondary. But the most important way to diagnose spinal stenosis is to have an MRI and then a nerve and muscle strip, or EMG, which shows chronic involvement of the nerve roots.

What are the treatments for spinal stenosis?

There are basically four ways to treat spinal stenosis: one is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, the other is physiotherapy and acupuncture manipulation, the third is injections into the spine, and the fourth is spinal surgery. Surgery is usually the best and most lasting treatment. But before surgery, it is necessary to perform simpler treatments for the patient as described above. If you do not respond to simpler treatments, surgery is recommended for the patient. Many of these patients find themselves with the non-surgical treatments described above, especially with injections into the spine. Non-surgical treatments are recommended in patients who do not have neurological symptoms. Normally, if the patient has problems controlling urination and defecation or the patient’s foot is weak when walking on the heel or toe, surgical treatment is recommended from the beginning. Because the patient loses time and may find irreversible neurological symptoms.


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