There might be times in life when you start feeling discomfort in your back. Especially the neck and lower back area. And you’re not sure what it is. Although there can be several reasons, lumbar spinal stenosis might be what affects you.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a disease where the openings of the spine begin to narrow down. The space between them begins to close. And this causes pressure on the nerves traveling between the spaces. This narrowed space also causes the spinal cord to become irritated. As the spinal cord is compressed and pinched due to the tightening of spaces. Thus, causing complications and discomfort in the body.
It can be divided into two major types depending upon the area it affects.
- Lumbar Canal Stenosis (Lower Back)
- Cervical Spinal Stenosis (Neck)
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The tightening of the spaces in the spine is a slow process. Therefore it takes time to worsen. Some people do not have any symptoms at all. And the problem is usually caught during x-rays for some other problem. Whereas for some people the symptoms come and go.
These symptoms vary for different parts of the body. These are defined under;
Symptoms for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Lower Back Pain
Dull ache or burning sensation in the lower back. This pain can come and go with time.
The pain starts from the lower back and continues down to the legs and up to the feet.
- Cramping in legs
One or both legs start feeling heavy.
Feeling tingling or numbness in the buttocks, legs, or feet.
Feeling weak in the legs or feet.
- Bladder or Bowel Problems
In more severe cases, loss in bladder and bowel control might be felt.
- Feeling Pain
When standing for long intervals or walking downhill. And that gets better when lying down, leaning, or walking uphill.
Symptoms for Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Arms, hands, legs, or feet feeling tingling or numbness.
Feeling weakness in one or both arms, hands, legs, and feet.
- Problems with Hands
Feeling weakness in hands especially when writing or buttoning shirts.
- Bladder or Bowel Problems
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Having some diseases such as osteoarthritis can be a cause of lumbar or cervical stenosis. It is a wear and tear condition that results in the breaking of the cartilage in our spine.
Due to loss of cartilage, bones rub against one another and this causes an overgrowth of bones (Bone spurs).
Age-related drying out and flattening of vertebral disks and cracking within the outer edge of the disks motives the gel-like centre of those disks to break via a weak or torn outer layer. The bulging disk then presses on the nerves near the disk.
Thickness of Ligaments
The fibre bands that hold the spine together are known as ligaments. Osteoarthritis can thicken these ligaments with time. And cause them to get into the space between spinal canals.
Physical damage or pressure near the spine can also cause the tightening of the spine. Thus, becoming a reason for spinal stenosis.
It’s a condition where a person is born with a naturally small spinal canal.
Another condition where a person is born with an abnormally shaped spinal canal.
Spinal Cord Tumors
Tumors between the spinal cord and vertebrae can tighten the space and put pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves.
Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis
and the movement of your body parts. And determine if you are facing spinal problems.
Then, imaging tests are used to find the exact location and severity of the disease. These tests include;
X-rays are used to find the problems and severity of spinal stenosis in your body. It is used to determine bone problems and find bone spurs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is also used to find the problem. They provide detailed images of the body in order to find tumors and other problems.
CT or CT Myelogram
A computer tomography (CT) scan is also used to diagnose the disease. It uses a combination of x-rays to create multiple images of the spine. A CT Myelogram adds a contrast dye to a normal CT scan. This helps to more easily and clearly see the spinal cord and nerves.
Traditional Treatments for Spinal Stenosis
Surgical treatments involve removing parts of bones or bony growths from the spine. These treatments can be classified as follows;
This is the most common type of surgical treatment for this condition. It involves removing the lamina. Lamina is a portion of the vertebra. Along with that, some ligaments and bone spurs may as well be removed.
Based on the conditions, a laminectomy can be further classified as the following;
In this type of treatment, only a small part of the lamina is removed. The part that is the reason for most pressure on the nerve.
This procedure is mostly used for the neck (cervical stenosis). A part of the lamina is removed to create space in the canal. Metal plates and screws are used to form a bridge across the part which the bone was removed from.
This procedure is to remove bone or tissue from the foramen to create space for nerve roots. The foramen is the area in the vertebrae where the nerve roots exit.
d. Interspinous process spacers
A minimal type of invasive surgery for some people that are facing lumbar spinal stenosis.
2. Spinal Fusion
When other methods do not work, this procedure opts. This surgery joins two vertebrae together. And is used when a person is feeling radiating nerve pain from spinal stenosis. And their spine is unstable.
Along with surgical treatments, some non-surgical options also exist. These include;
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aspirin, or Tylenol are used. They help in reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Physical therapies are used to treat your spine with different exercises. They are used to improve balance, flexibility, and stability in the spine.
Injecting corticosteroids in the area of problems in your spine helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These steroids, however, can weaken bones so only a limited the amount used per year (3 to 4).
This procedure is specifically designed for treating Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. It is performed using a tiny incision. This procedure does not require anesthesia and is guided by an x-ray and a contrast agent.
Along with these treatments, there are some home remedies that can also be tried. These include applying heat, cold, and exercise to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Stem Cell Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
Stem cell treatment is another, advanced and non-surgical treatment for spinal stenosis. This is comparatively new to other traditional treatments. It involves using stem cells to improve the condition and reduce problems. Stem cells are special types of cells that are found in human bodies, especially in umbilical cords. These cells have the ability to regenerate into any type of cell.
When injected into a body part, these cells locate the areas with problems. After locating, the cells start repairing the damaged cells and tissues. Often taking the dead cell’s place and acting as a new and repaired cell.
For spinal stenosis, stem cells are injected into the spinal area with problems. These cells locate the damaged cells and repair and regenerate them. Thus, reducing inflammation,
improving the condition, and restoring the normal function of the spine. These cells have been performing miraculous actions inside human bodies since they were discovered as a treatment for different types of diseases. They have comparatively less risk than the surgical options and way better results. They work fast and provide relief better than any other type of treatment.
Shifa Rejuvenation Clinic for treating Spinal Stenosis
Shifa Rejuvenation Clinic in Pakistan is one of the pioneers and best stem cell therapy providers in Pakistan. Under the mentorship of the best doctors from around the world, they provide treatments for diseases that were unavailable earlier. Stem cell treatment provided by Shifa Rejuvenation Clinic can be the answer to your problems regarding spinal stenosis. Using this treatment, you can relieve yourself of pain and discomfort caused by your damaged spine.
Hundreds of patients facing different serious issues have been treated at the Shifa Rejuvenation Clinic. And more are visiting every day to find treatments for their problems. So, if you or anyone you know is facing any type of Spinal Stenosis issues, reach out. Contact us by phone at (051) 889-6711 or email us at [email protected] and take a step towards a healthy and happy life free of pain and discomfort. Because you deserve it.