What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal.


The narrowing compresses the spinal cord and nerves, causing:

  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Weakness
  • Numbness

The symptoms often start slowly, then worsen over time.

Depending on where along the spinal canal the stenosis occurs, symptoms can be felt in the legs, neck, shoulder or arms.


The most frequent cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, which often occurs because of wear and tear due to aging.

Spinal stenosis can also be caused by a thickening of the back ligaments or a bulging of the discs that separate the vertebrae.


Spinal stenosis has no cure, however, treatments can provide relief. These can include:

  • Exercise
  • Medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Decompression laminectomy


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