Spinal Stenosis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Spinal stenosis, as the name suggests, is a defect caused to the spinal canal. It directly affects the functioning if the brain as the spinal canal narrowing causes difficulty in the transfer of data from the different parts of the body to the brain. This results in sensory problems or even malfunctioning of certain body parts. This may be limited to any special area of the spinal canal or the whole of it.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis can be genetically transferred or even acquired. Genetic conditions that cause Spinal Stenosis could be a genetically shallow spinal canal or a bone defect which causes the spinal column to become narrow. Spinal Stenosis is usually seen in persons who are in the age group above fifty years. Most of the reported cases of Spinal Stenosis have been acquired. One of the interesting facts about Spinal Stenosis is that women are more prone to this disease than men. Normally it occurs as a result of degeneration of cells or neurons due to aging. If the person is having arthritis also, the chance of having Spinal Stenosis increases by about thirty five percentage. Injuries or conditions occurred due to some other diseases, for instance the Paget's disease, or accidents can also cause Spinal Stenosis.

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The symptoms of Spinal Stenosis can vary according to the spot of narrowing of the spinal canal. The lower back or the lumbar area is the most prone area to this disease. The main symptom of Spinal Stenosis is acute pain in the spinal chord area which slowly deepens in to your legs. You will feel relieved if you rest in an upright sitting position or if you bend forward. As stated earlier this could render some body parts not responding or malfunctioning. In most of the cases the patients were experiencing loss of function of bladder, sexual organs or bladder. Difficulty in walking is another major symptom of Spinal Stenosis.

Another area of attack of Spinal Stenosis is the neck region. This type of Spinal Stenosis is called as cervical stenosis. Persons suffering from this disease could feel severe pain in the neck area and the hands. They will find it difficult to write properly or to pick some thing up using the fingers. This is because of the lack of proper communication between the hand and the brain. The loss of control of bladder and bowel is common to all types of stenosis. Usually the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis appear gradually and as the time passes it gravens.

Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

Under normal conditions, the patient who suffers from Spinal Stenosis is given conventional treatment like relaxing exercises, etc. in almost 75% of such cases the patient will receive some relief through this physical therapy. Massage and acupuncture is also used in some cases.

Medicines which are anti- inflammatory and which relaxes the muscular systems are often prescribed by the doctors to counter the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis. But this can't provide a permanent solution for this disease. In many cases, the only answer to Spinal Stenosis will be a corrective surgery.

Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center (http://womenscenter.com) in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women. Physical examinations, family planning, counseling, laboratory services.

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