Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Pittsburgh, PA
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal starts to narrow, pinching nerves and even the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis - depending on location along the spine - can cause a variety of symptoms, even paralysis.
Presenting with a gradual onset and typically affecting those around the age of 50, spinal stenosis can cause intermittent pain in the lower back and legs. Clumsiness is a common symptom as are numbness and paresthesia (a painful pins & needles sensation).
Strangely, spinal stenosis typically affects those without a pre-existing (or diagnosed) back condition. There are two main types of spinal stenosis: Lumbar, which presents with:
- Sciatica symptoms
- Vascular inefficiency
- Pain when walking (claudication) that typically subsides when sitting
Cervical, which presents with:
- Pain in the neck, upper back
- Arm and leg numbness
- Can result in serious symptoms including paralysis if left unchecked, therefore emergency medical attention is recommended for any severe neck and upper back pain.
Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis
Usually the first reported symptoms are those affecting the legs. Those with spinal stenosis typically first visit their doctor for trouble walking, not back pain. It’s usually when the physician takes a detailed medical history does the possibility of spinal stenosis become apparent. If you’ve had a history of intermittent back pain over the years, that is typically the first sign indicating spinal stenosis. Tests including an MRI, CT, and X-ray (with and without contrast dye) are the main diagnostic tools of choice.
A facet joint block may also be used to confirm the source of your pain, this is an injection of anti-inflammatory meds and an anesthetic. If the pain stops, your doctor can confirm the root of your pain is some sort of spinal nerve compression.
Risk factors of Spinal Stenosis
- Age: If you’re 50 or older, the natural disintegration of the spine may produce bone spurs and inflammation compressing nerves or your spinal cord itself (spinal stenosis)
- Arthritis: Specifically osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Genetics: If you have a history of spinal stenosis in your family, you have a greater chance of developing the condition
- Herniated Disc: A herniated disc can pinch nerves and the spinal cord
- Tumors: If they enter the spinal canal, they can apply pressure on nerves/ the spinal cord or cause inflammation of surrounding tissues which may do the same
- Trauma: Broken vertebrae in the back can send bone fragments into nerves, inciting spinal stenosis
Treating Spinal Stenosis
Several options exist in both treating the condition and the symptoms.
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds
- Chiropractic care
- Exercise/ posture re-training
Though your pain may be intermittent, relatively mild during the onset and in your legs of all places, spinal stenosis is a serious condition that can cause some serious issues down the road. Don’t ignore these symptoms another day.
Request more information about Spinal Stenosis Treatment today. Call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Emma McGowan online.
Medical Wellness Associates
Jeannette, PA 15644
8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm