Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Understanding What Causes Them

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Recognizing and understanding your spinal stenosis symptoms is the first step to an appropriate treatment plan. These symptoms are sometimes difficult to recognize and they are often confused with other problems unrelated to the stenosis.






"are accepted as a normal part of aging"

In some cases these symptoms are accepted as a normal part of aging.  Many people think that a bent over posture and inability to stand up straight, leaking urine, and difficulty climbing stairs are a normal part of aging, but in many instances these are symptoms of spinal stenosis.

"These nerves control everything."

Spinal stenosis occurs when changes in the lumbar spine cause narrowing of the space for the nerves.  

Over time this space for the nerves becomes so tight that it puts pressure on the nerves causing spinal stenosis symptoms.

These are the same nerves that control and innervate everything below the lumbar spine, including your bowels and bladder, sexual sensation and response, muscle strength, skin sensation, reflexes, and everything else. These nerves control everything.

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When they are squeezed and not functioning correctly, they can affect anything and everything below where they are being squeezed. The bent over posture can be a symptom of spinal stenosis because in some cases standing up straight causes pain by putting more pressure on the nerves.

"when the nerves are not functioning correctly"

Leaking urine can be a symptom of spinal stenosis when the nerves that control your bladder are being squeezed and not stimulating the muscles correctly.

Difficulty climbing stairs can be a symptom of spinal stenosis because of lower extremity weakness when the nerves are not functioning correctly.

"a constellation of symptoms, all caused by spinal stenosis"

All of these different possible spinal stenosis symptoms can have different causes other than spinal stenosis.  But in some cases, these are a constellation of symptoms, all caused by spinal stenosis.

The most common symptom of spinal stenosis is pain, or sciatica, in the buttock and thigh. There may also be back pain from the arthritis in your back that is associated with the stenosis.

"a deep ache in your buttock, similar to a toothache"

You will feel the pain of sciatica as a deep ache in your buttock, similar to a toothache. The pain may radiate into your thigh and lower leg. The pain may be worse with standing and quickly relieved by sitting down. Often people with sciatica from the spinal stenosis are unable to walk more than a few 100 feet, but they can bicycle without problems, because of the seated posture.

When you bend forward it opens up the space at the back of your spine making more room for the nerves. When you stand up straight or bend backwards it closes down the space for the nerves causing pain and/or other symptoms.

"are often confused with other causes of back and leg pain"

Pain in the buttock, similar to the pain of spinal stenosis, may also be from arthritis in your hippiriformis sciaticasacroiliac joint dysfunction, and other problems. Spinal stenosis symptoms are often confused with other causes of back and leg pain.

Learn More:
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Ch 2 More Serious Symptoms
   Weakness, Numbness, Incontinence



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