Recognizing and understanding common and not-so-common neck and low back spinal stenosis symptoms can help get an early diagnosis and begin a preventative treatment plan. Symptoms develop when the spinal canal begins to narrow. The nerve roots become compressed/pinched, causing:
This age-related and progressive disorder commonly affects the low back and neck. Symptoms can inhibit the ability to move without discomfort, pain, and neurological issues like tingling sensations and numbness that spreads out or radiates into other body parts.
The most common symptom of spinal stenosis is pain in the:
These symptoms are called neurogenic claudication. Some individuals with low back and spinal stenosis experience symptoms only when standing or moving/walking around. Discomfort usually eases up when bent forward and goes away when the individual sits down. Example: Grocery shopping feels a lot better when leaning forward on the cart’s handle, with reduced pain. This is common for people with spinal stenosis in the low back. Pain that goes away and reduces when bending forward, sitting down, or lying down is common for low back spinal Stenosis.
Understanding that claudication is not neurogenic or pseudo-claudication is important. Claudication symptoms are similar to pseudo-claudication; however, the cause is different. Claudication is caused by the blood not circulating properly in the leg muscles. Other symptoms are low back pain and low back spreading pain or radiculopathy.
Better known as sciatica, lumbar radiculopathy involves:
Some individuals experience pain in both legs, with one leg having worse pain than the other.
There can be severe cases of lumbar spinal Stenosis where the nerves that control the bladder or bowel can get compressed, leading to partial or complete incontinence. If problems are controlling the bladder or bowel, seek immediate medical attention.
Spinal Stenosis symptoms in the neck can cause cervical radiculopathy. This can include pain along with:
These symptoms may radiate downward from your neck into one or both shoulders, arms, and/or hands. The pain caused by cervical spinal Stenosis has been described as:
The intensity can go from mild to severe along with other symptoms that include:
With severe cervical spinal stenosis, symptoms can be associated with cervical myelopathy. Cervical myelopathy happens when the spinal canal narrows so much that it compresses the spinal cord in the neck. Pinched nerves in the neck can affect the shoulders, arms, and hands. Myelopathy can affect both the arms and legs.
Symptoms of cervical myelopathy can include:
Imaging studies like MRI and CT scans can detect a spinal disorder from an individual with no symptoms. This is why imaging tests are performed to confirm a diagnosis. This is supported by results from the physical/ neurological exams, medical history, and symptoms.
Those who have undergone an x-ray or other imaging test for a non-spinal related issue could have discovered they have spondylosis, osteophytes, and a herniated disc. However, they never knew it because they showed no symptoms. Spinal stenosis is usually an age-related and gradual process of physical change. It can take time for symptoms to show themselves. If you have neck or low back pain symptoms that worsen, speak with your doctor.
The information herein on "Spinal Stenosis Symptoms Early Diagnosis and Treatment" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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