Understanding Spinal Stenosis

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doctor with spine x-rayIn some cases, lower back pain can be caused by a condition known as spinal stenosis. This occurs when the spaces between the discs in your spine begin to narrow, placing pressure on your spinal cord and the surrounding nerves.

Read on to learn more about the common causes of spinal stenosis and what treatment options are available to help manage your back pain.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is most often caused by wear and tear on the spine over time, although it can also be a genetic condition. Some people with spinal stenosis may only experience very mild symptoms or none at all, while others report severe back pain that may shoot down the legs, tingling or numbness, trouble standing or walking and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Is It Preventable?

Because the leading cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, this condition may be difficult to prevent.

You can take steps to help reduce arthritis, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, improving your posture and eating antioxidant-rich foods.

Back Pain Treatment Options

If you suffer from lower back pain and are having difficulty managing it on your own, consult a back pain specialist. He or she can provide an accurate diagnosis of the type and cause of your back pain, as well as recommend the most appropriate treatment options.

These may include oral and topical medications, injection treatments or surgery. The best solution for you will depend on the type and severity of your back pain.