Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of spinal canal around the spinal cord or low back. Depending upon the location it may cause arm and leg pain, weakness and bowel or bladder incontinence. It is usually caused by degenerative process of age related due bulging disc and bony spur growth within the spinal canal. It can also be attributed to large disc herniation or mass effect of tumor on the spinal cord.


Patient has chronic back and leg pain. Legs gets weak with walking short distances and motor strength does return with rest. It usually happens in middle-aged patients due to degenerative processes in the spine. Patients usually lean over the shopping cart in grocery store to find some relief from back pain due to spinal stenosis.


The diagnosis is made by history and physical and MRI or CT spine of cervical and lumbar spine.


A regular stretching exercise program by raising leg up in line position is a very useful exercise. If exercise program fails, patient may benefit from periodic epidural steroid injections. If epidural injections fail, patient may require surgical decompression. Exercise is a big part of the treatment program. Patients need to start regular exercise, especially after epidural injections.