Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing between the bones of the spine (vertebrae). There is a central or spinal canal that runs up and down the spine. This is where the spinal cord travels. There are also smaller canals on each side of the spine and between each vertebra, called the neuroforamen. These canals are where the spinal nerves leave the spine and go out to parts of the body. Stenosis of any of these spaces can result in pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.   Spinal stenosis most commonly occurs gradually over time due to wear and tear changes of the discs, joints, and ligaments of the spine.


  • May occur in the arms and/or legs depending on the location of stenosis
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Burning
  • Cramping
  • Weakness
  • Often worse with prolonged standing and walking when in the lower back
  • Often worse with looking up and tilting or rotating the head when in the neck
  • Impaired balance
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function in severe cases affecting the spinal cord


  • Avoid or limit positions and activities that increase symptoms
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy

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