The Vast Array of Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Spinal stenosis symptoms generally take two forms. The first form is what is referred to as localized symptoms. These symptoms consist of pain and stiffness, and they are felt at the site where a spinal nerve has become compressed by the stenosis, or narrowing, of the spinal column. Radiating symptoms, the other type of symptoms, are felt away from the site of stenosis. When the spine becomes constricted, a nearby nerve root, giving way to various subsidiary nerves in the body, may be irritated. As a result of the irritation, the nerve root can send symptoms of pain along the length of nerves branching off from that particular nerve root, causing the pain to be felt at various locations in the body. Also, if the nerve's signals are disrupted by the compression, it can give rise to feelings of numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and muscle spasms in the extremities.
Why These Symptoms
Spinal stenosis symptoms are felt because a portion of the nervous system is in trouble or inflamed, and the nervous system tells the body about the problem that via messages we experience as symptoms. Sure, the symptoms experienced are no fun to endure, but they are inherently important. They tell us that something is wrong and needs to be treated. Without these symptoms, we would never know that an injury or area of degeneration exists.
As we all know, some conditions heal on their own, but others persist and can grow worse. Spinal stenosis often falls into the latter category. If you think you might be suffering from spinal stenosis, see your doctor soon for a diagnosis and treatment.
Relief from Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Treatment for spinal stenosis symptoms varies greatly, depending on any underlying condition that caused the stenosis. Most treatments are aimed at relieving the symptoms, and not actually the underlying cause. In many instances, spinal abnormalities that can lead to stenosis, such as herniated discs, will heal themselves, but the symptoms may persist until the spine returns to a healthy state. In these instances, doctors most often recommend that conservative treatment methods such as physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and thermotherapy be utilized at first. These conservative treatment methods attempt to minimize the symptoms felt, and in many cases provide great relief for patients.