Up to 500,000 people in the United States suffer from spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal. The reduced space within your spine puts pressure on the nerves, causing pain and dysfunction. At Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey, board-certified neurosurgeon Arien Smith, MD, FACS, provides expert nonsurgical and surgical treatments for spinal stenosis. He carefully evaluates your case to determine the best way to restore function and relieve pain. Call one of their New Jersey offices in East Brunswick or Bayonne, or their New York City offices in Bayside, Queens, and Midtown East, Manhattan, or schedule an appointment online today.
Spinal stenosis means that the spaces within your spine are narrowed, potentially putting pressure on nerve roots in the area. The parts of your spine most affected by stenosis are your lumbar (low back) and cervical (neck) areas.
Not everyone with spinal stenosis experiences symptoms. Even if you have no or only mild symptoms at first, they may develop and worsen over time.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
If you have stenosis primarily in the lumbar region, these symptoms appear in the legs and buttocks. If you have cervical stenosis, you’ll experience these symptoms in the shoulders and arms.
Most people with spinal stenosis are age 50 or older. Spinal stenosis most commonly occurs due to wear-and-tear changes associated with osteoarthritis.
Some people have genetically small spinal canals and herniated discs, thickened ligaments, tumors, and injuries that contribute to the development of stenosis.
If you don’t have symptoms associated with your spinal stenosis, treatment isn’t necessary. If you do have symptoms, treatments may include:
Many mild symptoms can be treated with medications, steroid injections, and movement modifications. Physical therapy to build up your strength and endurance, maintain your spinal flexibility, and improve your balance is important if you have spinal stenosis.
Dr. Smith may recommend a minimally invasive decompression procedure that involves removing a portion of the thickened ligament in the back of the spinal column. This increases the space in the spinal canal and reduces pressure on your nerves to help ease the pain.
If you have severe or progressive nerve involvement, loss of function, and debilitating pain, Dr. Smith offers surgical treatment to relieve pressure, restore function, and help you find relief from pain. In severe cases, surgical intervention is the most definitive way to try to resolve symptoms of spinal stenosis.
For expert treatment to manage and relieve pain from spinal stenosis, contact Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey. Call the nearest location or book an appointment online today.