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Spinal Stenosis

Relief from Spinal Stenosis Pain in Vancouver at Vancouver Spine and Disc Centre

Vancouver Spinal StenosisSpinal stenosis is a rare condition characterized by abnormal narrowing (stenosis) of the spaces within the spinal canal, spinal nerve root canals, or bones of the spinal column (vertebrae). Affected individuals may experience pain in the lower back and/or the legs. In some cases, affected individuals may have difficulty walking. Spinal stenosis may occur as a result of spinal injury, surgery, abnormal bone growth, or deterioration. In some cases, spinal stenosis may be inherited as an autosomal dominant genetic trait.

The most common cause of lumbar spinal stenosis is changes in the spine that can happen as you get older. 

These changes include thickening of soft tissues, development of bony spurs, and gradual breakdown of spinal discs and joints. Any of these conditions can narrow the spinal canal. 

Spinal stenosis usually happens gradually. Symptoms may start when the changes begin to squeeze the spinal cord or its nerve roots. 

These age-related changes often happen when you have certain disorders:

  1. Arthritis  of the spine wears away joint cartilage and causes bony growths (spurs).
  2. Certain bone diseases, such as Paget's disease and ankylosing spondylitis, may soften the spinal bones or cause too much bone to grow.

Also, other conditions may cause spinal stenosis, such as:

  1. An abnormally narrow spinal canal, which can be an inherited condition. 
  2. Spondylosis, which is a defect or fracture on one or both of the wing-shaped parts of a vertebra. A vertebra may slide forward or backward over the bone below and may squeeze the spinal cord or a nerve root. 
  3. Spinal fracture.
  4. Cancer.
  5. Fibrosis, which is excess, ropy tissue much like scar tissue. It can come from having spine surgery in the past.

Many people, especially those older than age 50, have some narrowing of the spinal canal but don't have symptoms. 

Symptoms occur when the nerve roots get squeezed. 


Leg pain

The most common symptom is leg pain that happens when you walk or stand and feels better when you sit. You feel pain in your legs, because the nerve roots that pass through the lower spine extend to the legs. 

People often have leg pain when the spine is extended-when they are standing straight or leaning backward, for example. 

And they often feel better when the spine is flexed-when they are sitting, walking uphill, riding a bicycle, or leaning over a grocery cart, for example. 

People with severe stenosis may have a habit of leaning forward in a stooped position to relieve pain.


Other symptoms

Other symptoms may include:

  1. Numbness, weakness, and cramping in the legs, feet, or buttocks. 
  2. Stiffness in the legs and thighs.
  3. Low back pain.
  4. In severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control.

Most cases of spinal stenosis can be managed without surgery. Further, a comprehensive treatment plan that looks at the patient as a whole will produce the best and most lasting results. This is especially true in an aging population where maintaining an active lifestyle is important for ongoing general health and well-being. Spinal stenosis is a very crippling problem, but a very treatable problem..

How do I get started?

Contact our office at 604-689-HEAL (4325) to schedule an initial consultation with the Doctor to determine your individual situation. Medical Evaluation and Diagnostic testing procedures should be performed prior to beginning any treatment in order to determine the most effective process. After carefully studying your case history and exam findings, the Doctor will sit down and explain his recommended plan of action for you. After answering any questions you may have about the recommended plan, you may begin your care.

Call now 604-689-HEAL  for your Consultation!

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