Spinal stenosis is a condition seen more in older athletes where the spinal canal narrows causing pressure on the nerves with resulting pain and numbness.
Symptoms of spinal canal stenosis
Spinal canal stenosis symptoms include low back pain which can radiate into the buttocks and back of the leg. Symptoms are often worse when walking or standing and can be reduced by sitting or lying in the fetal position. In server cases bowel and bladder problems may be present. The patient is likely to complain of weakness and tiredness in the legs. An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
- The lumbar spinal canal is the space in the spine through which nerves pass into the legs. Over time this space can narrow due to bone and tissue thickening (stenosis).
- Wear and tear on the bones and joints of the spine can cause narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Arthritis Trauma such as a fall or accident.
Treatment of Spinal Canal Stenosis
- If symptoms are mild then an exercise programme may be the best course of treatment initially.
- Core strengthening exercises to improve back muscle strength and posture.
- Drugs may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling in the spine.
- In severe cases surgery may be indicated.