The word “stenosis,” derived from the Ancient Greek for “narrow,” is used to describe an abnormal reduction in the diameter of certain structures within the human body. Spinal stenosis, which most commonly occurs in people over the age of 50, can occur in the center of the spine, in the spaces where nerves exit the spine, or in the spaces between the spinal bones. Depending on the severity of this abnormal narrowing, stenosis of the spine can cause compression on nearby nerves and lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
How Can I Tell if I Have Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis most commonly occurs in the lower back region, leading to symptoms including:
- Back pain (the muscles over the affected area may protectively and reflexively spasm)
- Back stiffness
- Pain that radiates into one or both legs
- Numbness, weakness, or cramping in the legs (which indicate nerve involvement; advanced cases may lead to an inability to pick up the toes, or foot drop)
Less commonly, stenosis in the spine can occur in the neck region. In this case, arm involvement instead of leg involvement is likely to occur, and neck stiffness and pain can also be present.
Who Gets Spinal Stenosis?
A variety of factors can increase a person’s risk of developing spinal stenosis, including:
- Advancing age (e.g., 50+); older people are more likely to develop stiffer and thicker connective tissue, bony growths (called bone spurs), and smaller joint spaces, all of which can lead to spinal canal narrowing
- Arthritis (joint inflammation)
- History of spine injury
- Family history
- Related underlying health conditions, e.g., Paget’s disease (which affects bone tissue development), increased calcium deposits, excessive fluoride in the body, etc.
If any of these factors are true for you, and if you have any of the symptoms described above, it’s possible you may be dealing with spinal stenosis.
How Our Ramsey NJ Pain Management Team Helps People with Spinal Stenosis
Our Ramsey pain management team has helped hundreds of people from the Northern New Jersey area find nonsurgical solutions to their spinal stenosis symptoms.
The first step? Getting the right diagnosis! Our diagnostic imaging, which includes digital X-rays and and nerve conduction testing, can help us pinpoint the location of your stenosis and determine the overall impact that the condition has your nerves. We’ll also rely on a comprehensive analysis of your symptoms and physical examination results to help guide our diagnostic process and plan of care of development.
One of the great things about consulting with our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine is that you’ll get to work with a multidisciplinary team including doctors and physical therapists. Depending on your unique case, we can offer a variety of nonsurgical options to help manage and relieve your symptoms, including:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Osteopathic manipulations and decompression
- Analgesic and anti-inflammatory injections
In the rare instances when surgery may be indicated (for instance, if conservative measures fail to help you), then our team can also be here to help you in the pre- and post-operative windows.
Are you wondering if your symptoms are related to spinal stenosis? Our Ramsey NJ pain doctors are committed to helping you get a clear understanding of your symptoms and practical, effective, and affordable solutions. To schedule an appointment, call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today at (201) 962-9199.