In the simplest of terms, stenosis refers to a narrowing of your spinal canal, which puts pressure on your nerves, causing you pain or discomfort.
Your spine is the primary conduit for your nervous system, which branches out from there to every area of your body and relays messages back and forth to your brain.
While an interruption to this system can occur on a micro-level, affecting, say, a single nerve in your finger, stenosis has a much more significant effect since it involves bundles of nerve roots or your central nervous system.
Stenosis largely occurs in your lumbar or cervical spine (your low back and neck).
There are several reasons why you may develop stenosis, including:
As with most things, time takes its toll, wearing down your body’s systems. When it comes to your spine, degenerative conditions are the primary culprit behind a narrowing of your spinal canal.
Arthritis builds up, and ligaments and discs dry out, which lead to herniated discs, bone spurs, and more. In fact, by the time you’re 50, stenosis can develop.
Trauma to your spine, such as a car accident or fall, can cause stenosis.
While uncommon, tumors along your spine may lead to stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is relatively common, especially as you age, but you may or may not feel any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they’re usually in the form of:
The location of the pain depends upon the location of the stenosis.
If the stenosis is concentrated in your neck, you may feel these symptoms in your arms and hands. If the stenosis is further down in your lumbar spine, you may feel pain in that area, or down your buttocks and legs, sometimes even reaching your feet.
Since spinal stenosis is such a broad diagnosis, Dr. Bertram prefers to treat each case with a tailored plan that first and foremost addresses the pain and discomfort, and restores function where necessary.
To do that, Dr. Bertram is armed with the latest therapies and treatments that have proven track records in relieving the symptoms of stenosis.
To get started on a treatment plan that’s right for you, call Martin Bertram, MD, or schedule an appointment online.
At Martin Bertram, MD, we accept several insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.