What are the Symptoms and Causes of Spinal Stenosis?
Most people suffering from spinal stenosis commonly experience muscle weakness and tingling in their arms or legs. However symptoms of spinal stenosis vary from person to person depending on how far along their condition has progressed. The longer the condition is allowed the progress the worse the symptoms will get; it is essential to seek early spinal stenosis treatment to avoid this.
Cervical Stenosis Symptoms
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Muscle weakness or loss of coordination in the arms and hands.
- Problems with balance.
- Numbness or tingling in the shoulder, arms, or hands.
Lumbar Stenosis Symptoms
- Numbness and tingling or cramping in legs and thighs.
- Muscle weakness or loss of motor function in the extremities that may worsen when bending or sitting.
- Stiffness in legs and thighs.
- Sharp constant pain that may affect standing or walking.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control in extreme cases. *Requires immediate medical attention*
Whether you feel these symptoms in your arms or legs depends on which area of the spine has become narrowed. If you have spinal stenosis in your neck, you will probably feel symptoms in the neck and arms. If you suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis than you will feel pain in your lower back that flows down your legs and into your feet.
If your spinal stenosis begins to compress your sciatic nerve you will start to feel symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica is a condition with symptoms that are felt through the buttocks and down into the back of the thigh.
What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis causes are usually age-related. They typically begin with spinal disc changes such as tearing, bulging, and scarring. Then gradually, the joints in the spine become inflamed, the ligaments of the spine become overgrown, and bone spurs form on the vertebrae and facets. All these factors come together and can play a part in narrowing the spinal canal and forming the stenosis.