Spinal Stenosis


Spinal Stenosis

What is it?

Spinal stenosis is back or neck pain caused by a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord. The spinal cord becomes pinched and inflamed which can cause pain and weakness.

May be likely if

Pain radiates to both sides of the body

Because spinal stenosis compresses the central spinal cord, pain frequently radiates down both sides of the body as opposed to just one side of the body. However, there are certainly cases where spinal stenosis causes pain to radiate down one side alone.

Pain worse when walking or going down stairs

The way the spine is positioned when walking down stairs causes a transient worsening of spinal canal narrowing and thus frequently increases the amount of pain being experienced.

Pain improves when bending at the waist

The way the spine is positioned when bending at the waist transiently decrease the spinal canal narrowing (opens up the spinal canal) and therefore temporarily improves back pain.

Potential Treatments

Epidural Steroid Injection

An epidural steroid injection is where long acting steroid is injected right around the spinal canal where it is narrowest in order to significantly decrease the inflammation around the spinal cord and nerves.

Interspinous Spacer

An interspinous spacer is a tiny medical device that increases the space between spinal bones. When the space between spinal bones is increased, the spinal canal opens which in turn reduces compression of the spinal cord and inflammation.

Conservative Management

6-8 weeks of conservative therapy with rest, ice packs, and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can be attempted prior to any procedure for spinal canal stenosis.

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