Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What causes spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is created by an opening in the middle of each vertebra, forming a protective passageway for the spinal cord. Nerves in the spinal cord are pinched when the space in the spinal canal narrows.

Spinal stenosis occurs due to conditions such as:

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Thickened ligaments

When these conditions cause spinal stenosis by protruding into the spinal canal, the nerves are pinched, and inflammation and pain develop.

What symptoms develop due to spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis may develop anywhere in your spine, but it most often affects the lower back. You experience symptoms such as neck pain or lower back pain and pain that radiates down an arm or leg, depending on where the spinal stenosis occurs. You may also develop tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected arm or leg.

In severe cases, spinal stenosis causes leg weakness and incontinence. These symptoms are rare, but when they appear, they signal a serious problem that needs immediate treatment.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

When your pain continues despite physical therapy and conventional medical care, your doctor at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine may recommend interventional therapies such as epidural steroid injections or a selective nerve root block.

These treatments block the nerve signals sending pain messages to your brain, which means you don’t feel the pain.
Depending on the underlying cause of your spinal stenosis, your doctor may recommend other effective treatments. For example, regenerative medicine therapies such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections promote healing of damaged tissues.

The doctors at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine also offer specialized therapies, including:

Vertiflex® Superion® interspinous spacer

Your doctor implants this device between two vertebrae, where it gently separates the bones and creates enough space to decompress spinal nerves.

Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulators use a mild electrical impulse to mask the pain signals transmitted through nerves to your brain. As a result, your brain can’t recognize the nerve’s message and doesn’t tell you to feel pain.

Expert pain management at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine does more than relieve your pain; it can also help you avoid surgery when you’ve been advised to undergo a bone fusion or surgical decompression.

To learn about your treatment options for spinal stenosis, call Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.