When it comes to wear and tear because of age, one may see it in different things. These include a person’s car, his home, his clothes, and more. But when a person starts noticing this happening to his body, it can be a particularly painful and disturbing development. There is a number of chronic conditions which affect the back and neck which can lead to pain and immobility, some of the worst in a person’s lifetime.
One such condition is spinal stenosis. This condition occurs when the spinal canal becomes narrower as a person grows older. When this happens, it puts pressure on the nerves within the spine. As the pressure increases, this can lead to numbness, pain, and even muscle weakness in the neck (known as cervical spinal stenosis) or the lower back (known as lumbar spinal stenosis). In more severe cases, this can also lead to an impaired bowel and bladder control.
The good news is, even if one is diagnosed with this condition, there are different treatments available out there. These treatments range from surgical to non-surgical options depending on the severity of the person’s condition, the cause of the condition, and the person’s medical history. To reiterate, spinal stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the spaces within a person’s spine. This, in turn, places pressure on the nerves which travel through one’s spine and usually, the condition occurs in the neck and the lower back. Some people who suffer from spinal stenosis may not manifest any symptoms. The unlucky ones, however, may experience tingling, pain, muscle weakness, and numbness. As time goes by, the symptoms may even worsen. The most common cause of this condition is the wear-and-tear changes which occur in the spine as a person grows older. In the most severe cases, doctors may even recommend surgery in order to create more space for the nerves or the spinal cord.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
The different types of spinal stenosis vary depending on the compression’s placement in the spine. These variations of the areas which are affected typically dictate which body parts will suffer from the compression and the symptoms. The spinal stenosis types depending on the vertical placement are:
Cervical Spinal Stenosis
This type is typically caused by a pinching of a person’s spinal cord in his neck. One of the most common symptoms of this type of spinal stenosis is a person experiencing a difficulty in performing fine motor skills such as buttoning up his shirt, writing, and more. Also, a person may experience numbness in the shoulders and neck when the compression occurs in this part of the spine.