Quick Answer: Can You Make Spinal Stenosis Worse?

What causes spinal stenosis to flare up?

Usually, spinal stenosis is caused by a gradual degenerative process (arthritis) in the lower spine.

Bone spurs, inflammation, and malalignment can cause the narrowing around the nerves.

Typical treatment of spinal stenosis starts with simple steps, including physical therapy, medications, and rest..

Is Spinal stenosis a form of arthritis?

Causes. The condition is commonly caused by wear-and-tear on the spine related to osteoarthritis. So, it’s more likely to happen as someone ages. But people with other types of arthritis and related conditions that affect the spine may develop spinal stenosis.

Can I still work with spinal stenosis?

Fortunately, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the few back conditions recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as an official impairment listing, meaning that those with documented cases of severe lumbar spinal stenosis are automatically granted disability benefits – if you can meet the SSA’s tough …

What are the symptoms of severe spinal stenosis?

What are the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis?Pain in the back.Burning pain going into the buttocks and down into the legs (sciatica)Numbness, tingling, cramping, or weakness in the legs.Loss of sensation in the feet.A weakness in a foot that causes the foot to slap down when walking (“foot drop”)More items…

Will spinal stenosis cripple you?

When spinal stenosis compresses the spinal cord in the neck, symptoms can be much more serious, including crippling muscle weakness in the arms and legs or even paralysis.

What happens if you let spinal stenosis go untreated?

Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent: Numbness. Weakness. Balance problems.

How do you prevent spinal stenosis from getting worse?

If you already have spinal stenosis, getting regular exercise and using proper body mechanics may help reduce the chances of your spinal stenosis from becoming worse. Exercise, when done properly, is a fantastic way to strengthen your spine and protect it from the everyday effects of wear and tear.

How do you fix spinal stenosis without surgery?

There is no cure for spinal stenosis, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can ease swelling and pain. If they don’t do the trick, your doctor can prescribe higher-dose medication. Your doctor may also recommend cortisone injections.

What is the latest treatment for spinal stenosis?

The surgery of choice now is decompression fusion. In decompression fusion, the spinal cord is given its room and the vertebrae are fused to prevent future stenosis at that segment level.

What activities should be avoided with spinal stenosis?

What Is Spinal Stenosis?Avoid Excessive Back Extension. … Avoid Long Walks or Running. … Avoid Certain Stretches and Poses. … Avoid Loading a Rounded Back. … Avoid Too Much Bed Rest. … Avoid Contact Sports.

What is considered severe spinal stenosis?

The Symptoms You may not notice any. But if the narrowing puts pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots, you may have numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in your arms and legs. In more severe cases, you may have trouble with your bowel, bladder, or having sex.

Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

If you experience pseudo claudication that makes it difficult to walk or move around, you will be considered for benefits from the SSA. Chronic pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs could make tasks like walking or driving very difficult. You may need to use a cane, walker, or wheelchair to get around.

What is the best painkiller for spinal stenosis?

Pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may be used temporarily to ease the discomfort of spinal stenosis. They are typically recommended for a short time only, as there’s little evidence of benefit from long-term use.

What are the final stages of spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis, often an end stage of the spine degenerative process, is characterized by leg pain with walking. Pain will go away with rest but you may have to specifically sit down to ease the leg pain.

How quickly does spinal stenosis progress?

Spinal stenosis is generally not progressive. The pain tends to come and go, but it usually does not progress with time. The natural history with spinal stenosis, in the majority of patients, is that of episodic periods of pain and dysfunction.