Spine Specialists in Huntsville, AL
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Most commonly caused by changes in the spine due to osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of space within your spine that places pressure on the nerves. The narrowing can happen at various places within your spine, but will often cause the same symptoms due to the compression of the nerves.
While spinal stenosis may be something one is born with or caused by osteoarthritis, other causes can include:
- Herniated Disks
- Tough or Thickened Ligaments
- Injuries to Your Spine
- Overgrowth of Bone
Types of Spinal Stenosis
Because the condition can occur at different locations within the spine, it is classified based on the area affected. Cervical stenosis is when the narrowing occurs in the neck area of your spine, while lumbar stenosis is when the narrowing occurs in the lower part of your back. Lumbar stenosis is cited as the most common form.
Symptoms of Stenosis
Based on the location of stenosis, the symptoms may either be non-existent or range in severity. The most common symptoms will include:
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in your limbs (hand, arm, foot, or leg)
- Issues with balance and walking.
- Neck or back pain.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, it’s important to get checked by one of our orthopedic specialists. While the issue may not be spinal stenosis, there may be an underlying cause that requires treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
After discussing your symptoms with your doctor, a physical examination will be conducted to determine the severity and root of the issue. In addition, imaging tests may be ordered including X-rays, MRIs, or CTs. These will allow the doctor to further see the exact location of the stenosis in order to classify and design a treatment plan.
The treatment plan designed for you will depend strongly on the severity of pain and the location of the stenosis. If the symptoms are mild, the doctor may discuss home relief such as mild exercises. If these do not work, but the symptoms are still not severe, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or antidepressants to ease the pain.
Further treatment often starts with physical therapy and progresses from there. Treatment plans for severe symptoms may include:
- Steroid Injections
- Massage Therapy and Acupuncture
- Chiropractic Treatment
- Decompression Treatment
- Surgery such as:
- Minimally Invasive Options
Make sure to schedule a consultation with one of our spinal surgeons for treatment options.
If you are experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis, or have questions about your spine health, contact The Orthopaedic Center at (256) 539-2728 today to schedule an appointment! We have several locations in the Huntsville area for your convenience.