The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas
Orthopedic Surgeon location in Pearland & Lake Jackson, TX
Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the spaces within your spine become narrower over time. Having less space in your spinal canal can increase pressure on your nerves and lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including chronic back pain. At The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas in Pearland, Houston, and Lake Jackson, Texas, Dr. Thomas Jones II provides complete care, including surgical treatment solutions, for adults with spinal stenosis. To learn more, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spaces within your spinal canal, is usually an age-related problem that develops from the degenerative changes caused by arthritis.
In its early stages, spinal stenosis may not cause symptoms; in fact, most adults don’t know they have the condition until it begins to put pressure on their spinal nerves. When symptoms do begin to appear, they tend to gradually worsen without treatment.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
The most common form of spinal stenosis is lumbar stenosis, which affects the lower back. It typically causes pain or cramping in one or both legs when you walk or stand for long stretches, but the pain usually eases when you sit or bend forward.
Other common symptoms of lumbar stenosis include:
- Chronic lower back pain
- Numbness or tingling in a leg or foot
- Weakness in a leg or foot
Spinal stenosis that affects your neck is called cervical stenosis. In addition to causing neck pain, it can cause:
- Numbness in an arm, hand, leg, or foot
- Weakness in an arm, hand, leg, or foot
- Difficulty walking or staying balanced
What causes spinal stenosis?
Although being born with a smaller spinal canal can cause spinal stenosis to develop at an early age, the condition is most common among adults who are past the age of 50. Spinal stenosis often begins with some type of structural change within the spine, such as:
- Arthritis-related degeneration
- Bone overgrowth (bone spurs)
- Herniated spinal discs
- Acute spinal injuries (whiplash)
How is spinal stenosis treated?
There are several non-invasive treatment solutions that can be very effective for managing spinal stenosis. Physical therapy can help you build strength and endurance while maintaining a flexible, stable spine, while over-the-counter pain relievers and epidural steroid injections can help reduce pain and inflammation.
If other treatments and therapies don’t help, or if your symptoms are debilitating, minimally invasive spinal decompression surgery, or a laminectomy, may be your best option.
Dr. Jones uses minimally invasive techniques to treat spinal stenosis safely, effectively, and with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues, which means it comes with fewer risks and promotes faster recovery.
If you have unexplained back pain, call The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas or schedule an appointment online today.