Lower back pain is extraordinarily common, but that doesn’t mean that it is something that you have to accept, or that you should suffer in silence. Seeking a diagnosis from an experienced lumbar spine specialist will provide you with exact information as to the cause of your pain, as well as a well-thought-out course of treatment designed to provide you with relief and a much-improved quality of life. One of the most common conditions that your physician can treat is lumbar spinal stenosis.
There are many things that can cause lumbar spinal stenosis, but the most common is aging. The symptoms can vary, but the most common include:
- Pain in the lower back
- Sciatica, a burning sensation that radiates from the buttocks down to the legs
- Foot drop, a weakness in the lower leg that leads to the foot slapping the ground while walking
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the buttocks, legs or feet
If leaning forward while you’re sitting relieves your pain, or assuming a similar position while standing like leaning onto a countertop or shopping cart, there’s a good chance that you have lumbar spinal stenosis.
The reason that action helps is that lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of either the spinal canal or the small openings on the side of the vertebrae that the nerves travel through. This narrowing puts pressure on the nerves that carry messages from our lower body to our brain, and this pressure is what causes pain. When you lean forward, you create more space for those nerves.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is most frequently caused by degenerative arthritis, though it may also be a result of degenerative disc disease, tumors that have spread to the spine, bone disorders, or even infections impacting the nerves in the spine.
Diagnosing lumbar spinal stenosis is just the beginning of the process. Though the condition is incurable, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t treatable. In fact, it is very important that you get treatment as soon as possible: in most cases the process is degenerative, so if you ignore it you can be sure that it will only get worse.
Our lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis, asking you questions about your medical history and symptoms and conducting a complete physical examination.
We will look for specific symptoms and reactions in your spine, hips, legs, and knees, and order imaging tests to give us a comprehensive view of your discs, the spaces in between them, any bone spurs that may exist, and the nerves in your back.
Armed with this information we will be able to provide you with an accurate report on the extent of your back disease and a plan of action appropriate for both your condition and your lifestyle.
Possible treatment options include physical therapy, stretching exercises, massage, lumbar traction, medication and injections, and surgery.
To find out if lumbar spinal stenosis is behind your pain and what the best course of action is for you, contact our lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey today to make an appointment.