Spinal Stenosis Attributes to Lower Back Pain, Hand, Neck and Leg Numbness

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If you ever feel numb, weak, stiff or pain at the leg when moving your back when sitting, you could be facing spinal stenosis problem.

Spinal stenosis is not a disease, it refers to the narrowing of the backbone space problem. Anything that causes the spinal canal (vertebral canal) narrowing is causing spinal stenosis.

Illustration showing the difference of normal spinal canal and spinal canal that have stenosis condition.Our spine or backbone is established of a row of 26 spine bones called vertebra. It enable you to stand up or bend. The spine also protects the spinal cord from injury. Those who faced spinal stenosis means that their spine has narrowed at one or more sections which could be at the spine middle space, nerve route that branching out from the spine or at the nerve between vertebrae at the spine.

Spinal stenosis is a common problem faced by people of 50 and above age. However, for young peoples, the problem may occur when they have injury at their backbone. Beside these peoples, those who were born with narrow spine canal are also risk having with spinal stenosis problem.

Illustration showing vertebra, intervertebral disc, nerve roots and spinal cord in the spinal column.
Spinal Dissection – NIH image

Spinal stenosis usually happens in the lower part of the backbone (the lumbar section). The narrowing create pressure to the spine or nerve that came out of branches from the spinal column. This will cause lower back pain.

Spinal stenosis brings to various problems depending to the affected nerve. The narrowing may involve small or large part on the spinal column. The pressure to the lower spine or nerve root branch out from the area may increase the feeling of pain or numbness at the leg. This can happen in one stage or in many stages.

Generally, spinal stenosis causes cramp, pain or numbness at the leg, back, neck, shoulder or arm. Sometimes in more serious level it can bring problem to bladder or bowel movement.

Weak spinal stenosis symptom can be dissipated by drugs or physical therapy, but in more serious cases it may require surgery to create more room in the spinal column.

Although surgery can help to reduce pain, it cannot repair the damaged nerve or halt the degenerative process (bone declination caused by aging) which brought to spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis usually happens at the L4 and L5 part. About 80 percent of men at the age 40 year will experience it and 65 percent of women experience spinal stenosis at the same age.

Clinically, woman frequency to experience spinal stenosis is three to one or five to one in ratio.

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