Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a body channel
In the medical field, stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a body channel. When combined with the word spinal, it defines a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord
Some patients are born with this narrowing. However, most cases of spinal stenosis develop from growing older and wear and tear on the spine. Osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and bone spurs are common causes. Pain is a predominant symptom usually accompanied by extremity weakness, numbness, and sensations such as tingling and pins and needles. Lumbar spinal stenosis causes symptoms in the low back and legs and includes sciatica and difficulty walking or standing. Bladder and bowel problems signal the need for urgent medical care.
The cause of spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine is commonly associated with aging. The facet joints (small stabilizing joints located between and behind vertebrae) tend to get larger as they degenerate and can compress the spinal nerve roots in the lower back, often producing lumbar stenosis symptoms of pain, especially with activity. Generally, patients with lumbar spine stenosis are comfortable sitting or leaning forward, but standing upright or walking further decreases the space available for the nerve roots and can cause the patient’s legs to feel heavy and weak.