Spinal Stenosis is usually the consequence of osteoarthritis and is a condition when the spinal cord or nerve roots become compressed either due to spinal narrowing or because of a congenital disability. Medical history of the affected is vital to the treatment as there is no single cause and it can vary from person to person. Side effects of this condition develop slowly and may worsen over time. There is no particular treatment for it. However, some steps can be taken to reduce pain and uneasiness caused by it. Some of the commonly employed steps include exercising.
The effects of Spinal Stenosis depend upon where it happened and can affect the movement of hands, legs, neck, etc. It could be brought about by vertebrae discs protruding out or by thickening of ligaments present in the back.
The types are decided on the basis of the body site. 2 main types of spinal stenosis are:
Spinal Stenosis could either be congenital or acquired. If a person is born with a narrow or small spinal canal, it is congenital whereas if due to some reason it becomes narrow after birth, it is called acquired stenosis.
It is very common in females and in old age. Also, injury of the spine or some congenital defect could lead to it. Various diseases or condition can also lead to Stenosis such as spondylitis, osteoarthritis, tumors in the spine, etc
The symptoms can be different from person to person and site to site. Usually neck and Lower back are the most affected area when it comes to spinal problem. So the common symptoms can be:-
At the initial stage, the person affected might feel constant pain in some specific places of the body. Also, any part of the body could be paralyzed or walking could become very tough. These are some of the possible symptoms. The medical professional so consulted will conduct a thorough examination to ascertain the condition. Various tests will be performed such as taking X-rays of the spine, Computerized Tomography or CT scan, or Magnetic Resonance Imagining of the Spine. These tests help the doctor in deciding whether the person has Spinal Stenosis or not and also how critical is it. Once it is diagnosed, the doctor will move on to the treatment.
The treatment for Spinal Stenosis depends upon the condition of the patient. Initially, any medical professional advises the patient to follow some self-care tips. If the condition or the pain is worse or has worsened, medications will follow. Surgical treatment is the last resort and is only done when previous treatments have not helped. Except for certain precautions and exercises, the following may be advised:
Medical surgery is the last resort. The surgery aims to either broaden the spinal canal or to reduce pressure on the nerves. Some common surgical procedures include Laminotomy, Laminoplasty, Minimally Invasive Surgery, etc. By and large, these space-making procedures help diminish the side effects of Spinal Stenosis. However, certain risks such as inflammation, infection, clotting, etc. are always present. Though, under the care and attention of an expert surgeon, this treatment would prove to the most effective.
The most common of the problems faced by a person affected with Spinal Stenosis is having trouble walking. The pain is initially less but it becomes severe with time. Since there is no way out, a patient will have to learn to cope with the situation. If due care is not given, the patient’s leg could get paralyzed and they could be crippled for life. Likewise, pain in certain parts of the body and stamina-loss are certainly other problems so faced. It is better to keep exercising to strengthen muscles and for general well-being. The patient should abstain from lifting heavy weights and also should be open to the doctor about their condition. It is better to explore medicines and alternative treatments before opting for the surgical procedure.
Spinal Stenosis Treatments
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