Stenosis of the lumbar spine is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back which results in compression of the spinal cord and the nerves that branch off from it.
Unlike a lumbar herniated disc, which can occur suddenly, lumbar spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by the gradual wear and tear on the spine associated with arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
Age is the biggest risk factor, and spinal stenosis occurs most often in people over the age of 60.
Some individuals experience symptoms of lumbar stenosis, while others do not. When symptoms do occur, they include pain, numbness, and tingling in the buttocks and legs that are often worsened when standing or walking. Sitting and leaning forward creates more space within the spinal canal and may give you temporary relief from spinal stenosis symptoms.
Upon evaluation and diagnosis, one of Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s spine specialists may recommend conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications.
These treatment options may provide relief from painful symptoms and improve lost mobility.
Surgical intervention for lumbar spine stenosis, such as laminectomy or other surgical techniques, may be recommended when you have tried conservative treatments for several months but pain or weakness interfere with your normal activities.