What Is Spinal Stenosis?

What is spinal stenosis and is there a cure for it?

Spinal stenosis (or narrowing) is a condition that occurs when the small spinal canal, which contains the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes narrowed. This causes a “pinching” of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, which leads to pain, cramping, weakness or numbness. Arthritis, tumors, and certain inherited diseases can also cause spinal stenosis, which is more common after age 50.

There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Non-surgical options include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy and cortisone injections. If those treatments fail, surgery involves removing a portion of the bone and overgrown tissues that compress the nerves. If the spinal stability is compromised, a fusion may be indicated to stop the motion leading to the arthritic changes and pain.

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