LUMBAR SPINAL STENOSIS
What is lumbar spinal stenosis?
The lower back, or lumbar spinal region, is located between your ribs and pelvis and is made up of five vertebrae. Due to aging, injury, or underlying medical condition, the spinal canal in this area can narrow and compress the nerves in the lumbar spine.
These nerves travel through your low back and into your legs, causing a variety of symptoms that can interfere with your ability to walk.
What are the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis?
The compression of nerves in lumbar spinal stenosis can cause weakness or numbness in your leg, resulting in difficulties walking or sitting. Chronic pain is also typical with this condition, limiting your ability to work or stay physically active.
Other common symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include:
- Cramping in the calves
- Radiating pain in the thighs and legs
- Numbness or pain in the buttocks
In some cases, weakness in the lumbar spine can lead to loss of bladder or bowel control.
How is lumbar spinal stenosis diagnosed?
The team at Florida Back Institute can often determine a diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis based on your symptoms. They take the time you need to discuss your pain and other issues during your consultation and carefully review your medical history.
To confirm lumbar spinal stenosis, your doctor performs a physical exam of your low back and spinal column. They may request imaging tests to take a closer look at your spine and nerves.
You may need one or more of the following to properly diagnosis Spinal Stenosis:
- CT scan
You may also need a myelogram, a test that uses an injection of a contrast dye into your spine. The dye highlights the spinal cord and nerves to identify areas of compression.
What treatment options are available for lumbar spinal stenosis?
Initially, the doctors may recommend using over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories to keep you comfortable. Physical therapy can also help reduce nerve compression and strengthen the muscles that support your spine.
You might benefit from an epidural injection, which delivers anesthetic pain medications directly into the spine to treat chronic pain.
If the narrowing of your spine is severe and symptoms limit your quality of life, you may benefit from surgery. There are several types of surgeries available, including a lumbar laminectomy, designed to relieve pressure on your nerves and provide you with long-term symptom relief.
End the pain of lumbar spinal stenosis today by seeing the experts at Florida Back Institute for treatment. Schedule a consultation online or by phone.