Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal due to bone spurs, herniated discs, thickened ligaments, tumors, or injury, causing swelling and inflammation in the tissues surrounding the spinal canal.
Degenerative changes usually occur in elderly patients, while younger patients may have spinal stenosis due to trauma or spinal deformities like scoliosis (which affects bone and muscle development in the body).
The symptoms of spinal stenosis vary based on the area of the spine affected. The most common presentations are:
a. Cervical Stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area, causing neck pain.
b. Lumbar stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, causing back pain along with leg cramps that get better after resting or bending forwards.
Patients may also experience tingling numbness and weakness in the upper or lower limbs, difficulty in walking or maintaining balance. In severe cases, loss of bowel or bladder control occurs. Spinal stenosis can be seen in an MRI or CT scan and is treated by managing the pain, physical therapy, surgery, or a combination of these.
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