Your spine runs the length of your back, from the top of your neck down to your tailbone. The vertebral bones and cushioning discs of your spine also house many nerves. These nerves refer sensory information up to your brain. Issues with your spine can put pressure on spinal nerves, leading to symptoms of back pain.
If you’re coping with chronic back pain, especially pain in your back or lower neck, the source of your problem could be related to spinal conditions like spinal stenosis.
At Midwest Sports and Interventional Spine inLake Geneva and Franklin, Wisconsin, Harvard-trained specialist Dr. Cyril Philip and his team of interventional pain management and spinal health experts diagnose and treat causes of back pain, including spinal stenosis.
Understanding spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spaces in your spine where nerves pass through. This narrowing is often due to degeneration related to osteoarthritis. Spinal stenosis tends to be a problem for older patients, as the condition is typically related to spinal wear-and-tear.
Spinal stenosis usually affects the area around your neck (cervical stenosis) or your lower back (lumbar stenosis). Lumbar stenosis is the most common type of stenosis.
Spinal stenosis and back pain
You might not experience symptoms related to spinal stenosis, but symptoms that might develop include back pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Spinal stenosis might be the source of your chronic back pain. Your symptoms may depend on the area where your spine has deteriorated.
If you have cervical stenosis, you might notice numbness, weakness, or tingling in your hands, feet, arms, and legs, as well as problems with walking, balance, bowel and bladder issues, and persistent neck pain.
In cases of lumbar stenosis, you’re more likely to feel numbness, tingling, and weakness in your feet and legs alone, as well as pain or cramping that can strike when you stand for long periods or do a significant amount of walking.
Bending forward or sitting down may lessen the pain associated with this type of spinal stenosis.
No matter which type of spinal stenosis you’re dealing with, you may notice that your back pain tends to worsen over time. Talk to Dr. Philip about your chronic back pain symptoms, and get your diagnosis before your condition worsens.
Treatment options for spinal stenosis
At Midwest Sports and Interventional Spine, Dr. Philip and the team scan for spinal issues when patients report symptoms of back pain similar to those of spinal stenosis. If he detects narrowing in your spine, he discusses your diagnosis with you, and recommends the best treatment options for you.
Steroid injections may reduce inflammation and resolve your pain symptoms.
Addressing your spinal stenosis and resolving your back pain for good may require surgical treatment to open up the space around your spine for your nerves. Surgeries for spinal stenosis include laminectomy, laminotomy, and laminoplasty. Physical therapy exercises can help patients recover after a case of spinal stenosis.
You could also potentially benefit from treatment for a herniated disc, thickened spinal ligaments, or a tumor, as well as spinal decompression.
To learn more about how spinal stenosis could be causing your chronic back pain, get in touch with the Midwest Sports and Interventional Spine team today. Schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone, or book online.