When the back hurts: stenosis

Backache, back pain and stenosis

There are many causes of low back pain. Stenosis could be one of them. It often affects older people and causes  lumbar back pain radiating to buttocks, thighs and below

What’s the cause?

Stenosis is often a result of aging and degenerative changes within the spine. Thick ligamentum flavium, excessive bony tissue arising in the spinal cord, changes affecting intervertebral discs can all be causing stenosis

How to recognize stenosis and what are the symptoms?

Patients very often have increased pain when walking (Neurological Claudication)  forward flexion and sitting bring temporary pain relief. Imaging studies are usually very helpful in informing diagnosis (x-Ray or more detailed MRI)

Lumbar stenosis may be progressive and cause:

  • Difficulty with passing urine, opening bowels
  • Sexual disfunctions
  • Muscles weakness

How to treat?

In the initial phase:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Rest

can be helpful.

However, there is often a need for a surgical intervention, which is intended to remove the pressure  off the spinal cord or nerve root

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