Disorders of the spine affect your daily routines and activities. Pain, pinched nerves, and reduced mobility are constant problems for patients with spinal stenosis. As you age, the spaces in your spine weaken and shrink. This puts pressure on the nerves in your neck and back.
However, living with spinal stenosis doesn’t have to be painful.
Read on to learn more about spinal stenosis, the symptoms and causes, and possible treatment options.
Understanding Your Condition
For some patients with spinal stenosis, there are no noticeable symptoms; while others experience pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. The condition and its symptoms can change over time.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis involves the narrowing of the spinal spaces. This process puts pressure on the nerves traveling through your spine. It can occur in the spinal canal (where the spinal cord is located) and/or where the spinal nerves exit the canal.
Symptoms and Causes of Spinal Stenosis
This condition occurs most often in the neck or low back. Depending on the location in the spine and the extent of the narrowing, the spinal cord or nerves may become compressed. Symptoms often include pain, tingling sensations, numbness, or weakness.
Symptoms of low back (lumbar) spinal stenosis include:
- Low back pain
- Numbness in the buttocks, leg, or foot
- Legs that feel heavy
- Weakness in the leg or foot
- Pain that is worse after standing for long periods of time or walking
Symptoms of neck (cervical) spinal stenosis include:
- Neck pain
- Numbness and/or weakness in the arm, hand, leg, or foot
- Problems with balance
- Loss of function in the hands
Spinal stenosis is caused by age-related or structural changes to the spine. Common causes include bone spurs, bulging or herniated disks, thickened ligaments, spinal injuries, cysts or tumors, or congenital spinal stenosis.
If you are experiencing neck or back pain, your physician may ask you questions, review your medical history, perform a physical exam, or request certain tests to diagnose the cause. Imaging tests to diagnose spinal stenosis include x-rays, MRI, or CT scan.
Living with Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis can be treated. The goal of treatment is to provide pain relief and to improve your quality of life.
What Is the Best Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?
There are a number of treatments available. The treatment used depends on the patient, the location of the stenosis, and the severity of the symptoms. Mild symptoms may be improved with self-care tips and over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe conditions may require prescription medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, decompression procedures, or spine surgeries.
Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Spinal Stenosis?
Stem cell therapy can be an alternative to invasive spinal surgeries. Stem cells can regenerate into various types of cells. They can be used to treat pain, reduce inflammation, and repair or replace damaged tissues.
Since spinal stenosis involves the degeneration of bone and tissue in the spine, stem cells may help regenerate the bone, tissue, and muscle.
Schedule an Appointment with Stem Cell Carolina
Contact Dr. Ahmad and the team at Stem Cell Carolina to find out if you are a candidate for stem cell therapy. For more information on the spinal stenosis treatment in Charlotte, schedule an appointment with Stem Cell Carolina.