Spinal Stenosis – A Common Cause of Lower Back Pain
Spinal stenosis is a fairly common spine condition that affects numerous East Texas residents each and every year. This common cause of lower back pain can become a chronic condition if not diagnosed and treated by a pain physician in Tyler, Texas. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler is available to assist individuals who are suffering from the numerous symptoms associated with this condition.
An Overview of Spinal Stenosis
In order to fully understand the condition of spinal stenosis, it is important to understand the anatomy of the spine. The spine is composed of a series of connected bones, known as vertebrae, and shock-absorbing discs. The vertebrae and discs are responsible for protecting the spinal cord, a critical part of the central nervous system that connects the brain to the body. The spinal cord is found within the canal that is formed by the vertebrae.
Spinal stenosis is defined by the narrowing of the spaces within the spinal canal, which causes pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine.
Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and can lead to a number of unwanted and troublesome symptoms. There are a small percentage of individuals who have no symptoms, but the majority of people affected by spinal stenosis experience lower back pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In many cases, the symptoms can worsen over time and lead to a chronic health condition if left untreated.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Many spinal stenosis cases occur when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Common causes include:
- Osteoarthritis that causes bone spurs to develop
- Spinal injuries caused by a car accident or other traumatic event
- Herniated discs
- Thickened ligaments
- Abnormal growths or tumors
How a Pain Physician Diagnoses and Treats Lower Back Pain Associated with Spinal Stenosis
In order to diagnose spinal stenosis as a cause of lower back pain, a pain physician must perform a thorough medical review, physical examination and diagnostic tests. Common diagnostic tests include X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
Once a diagnosis of spinal stenosis has been reached, a pain management plan will be developed. Treatment options depend on severity of symptoms and exact stenosis location. Common treatment options include:
- Physical therapy exercises
- Steroid injections
- Spinal decompression
If conservative, non-surgical measures do not alleviate lower back pain and other associated symptoms, a pain physician may recommend a surgeon for a surgical intervention.
For additional details on lower back pain causes, or to determine if spinal stenosis is the cause of your pain, please contact the leading pain physicians in Tyler, Texas at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.