The narrowing of the spine is a very painful condition that is known better as spinal stenosis. With this condition, a person’s spinal canal becomes narrow. As this happens, the narrowing spinal canal begins to compress both the spinal cord and the nerves, causing a very painful sensation in the person’s back.
This excruciating condition can be brought on by several different processes. Most commonly, the narrowing of the spine is simply a part of the aging process. As the progression of aging takes place, a person’s spinal column frequently begins to degenerate. Some other causes include a herniated disc, tumor growth and osteoporosis. At times, spinal stenosis can be attributed to a congenital condition. Congenital defects are mostly associated with spinal stenosis occurring in the neck or lower back.
The narrowing of the spine may occur in several locations in a person’s spine, including the lumbar, thoracic or cervical regions. For certain sufferers, spinal stenosis occurs in all three locations in the spine, causing many symptoms to present themselves in the sufferer.
Sufferers that endure symptoms of spinal stenosis may find themselves with more than just back pain. The pain can radiate throughout the lower half of the body, running down through the legs. No part of the leg is immune, as the thighs, buttocks and feet may all feel the effects of a narrowing spine. At times, in very harsh cases it may also cause a sufferer to lose control of their bowel movements, have bladder issues or both.
As spinal stenosis can present itself in different places in a person’s back, it has the tendency to, of course, be different in each location. While stenosis that occurs in a person’s thoracic is a unique condition unto itself, it most often occurs alongside the same disease in either the lumbar or cervical spine.
It takes less to create spinal stenosis problems in a person’s thoracic area. This is because the spinal canal is narrower in this area. This naturally occurring trait leaves less room for problems to occur without presenting problems in a person. Thoracic spinal stenosis may either occur as a congenital problem or happen as a result of different circumstances as the aging process goes on.
A narrowing of the spine that occurs in the upper part of the spinal column is known as cervical spinal stenosis. Though stenosis in the cervical spine can occur at birth due to a congenital defect, it most often happens in a person after the age of fifty. This occurs because the spinal column begins to deteriorate after years of use. Many times, sufferers that present symptoms are found to have a genetic predisposition to this condition.
When lumbar stenosis occurs it is most often rooted in degenerative arthritis. Other causes include tumors, bone disorders and infections. This disease normally manifests as lower back pains and leg problems. These leg problems include numbness, weakness and loss of feeling. These symptoms will not only persist, but they tend to worsen as time progresses.
Written By: Updated: June 30,2011