Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Located in Livonia, MI & Clinton Township, MI
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of your spine that leads to pressure or pinching of your spinal cord and/or nerve roots, resulting in pain. The narrowing most often affects the lumbar (lower back) or cervical (neck) spine.
The type of symptoms you experience with spinal stenosis may depend on the portion of the spine that’s affected. Common symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling to the extremities
- Neck or back pain
- Poor balance
- Weakness in the hand, arms, or legs
- Leg pain after standing or walking for an extended period of time
The symptoms caused by spinal stenosis tend to get worse over time. If you’re experiencing back or neck pain or you’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and you’re symptoms are worsening, the team can develop a plan to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What causes spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis can develop from many causes. However, it most often results due to the degenerative changes that occur in your spine as you get older, leading to bony growths, herniated discs, and thickened ligaments.
These degenerative changes cause height loss within your spine that leads to the pressure and pinching. Tumors and an injury to your spine can also lead to narrowing and discomfort.
What can I expect during an evaluation for spinal stenosis?
The team conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come in with concerns of back or neck pain or a history of spinal stenosis. He begins by first reviewing your symptoms and medical history and then performs a physical exam.
To better understand the cause of your symptoms and help direct the treatment plan, they may request diagnostic testing, such as an X-ray, MRI, electromyography (EMG), or nerve conduction study (NCS).
How is spinal stenosis treated?
The team develops individualized treatment plans for the management of your spinal stenosis based on the location of the narrowing, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall medical history.
Initially, they take a conservative approach to care and may recommend physical therapy, pain medication, and/or anti-seizure medication.
If conservative measures fail to relieve your symptoms or your symptoms worsen despite these interventions, the team may suggest more invasive treatments. Some of the treatment options for the management of spinal stenosis include:
- Steroid injections
- Nerve block or ablation
- Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD)
- Placement of spinous spacers
The team may also suggest acupuncture or massage therapy to help relieve your symptoms.
For comprehensive care of spinal stenosis, call Enhance Center today to schedule an appointment with the interventional pain management specialist.
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