While many injuries and conditions cause chronic back pain, up to 500,000 Americans have spinal stenosis. A variety of conditions can cause spinal stenosis, which increases its prevalence.
Our anesthesiologist and pain management expert Syed Nasir, MD, here at Skilled Pain Care Clinic, PA, in Houston and Katy, Texas, is committed to helping you lead a pain-free life. If spinal stenosis is the root cause of your pain, he provides treatments that both reduce your pain and heal your spine.
Stenosis is the medical term for narrowing, so spinal stenosis means your spine has become narrow. The condition usually affects your neck or your lower back and causes local pain as well as radiating symptoms, including:
These symptoms occur because spinal stenosis can compress the peripheral nerves that extend out from your spine and through your body.
Your back pain might come and go. You might find some positions and movements make your pain worse, while others decrease it. In fact, just a small adjustment, like leaning forward slightly, can make a big difference in your pain.
Your spinal column and canal are compact and don’t have much extra space to accommodate swelling or abnormal growths. As a result, even minor issues can narrow your spinal canal and cause nerve compression.
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of spinal stenosis. The disease can reduce the space in your spine in two ways. First, as your discs become thin and dry, your spine settles, and much of the weight transfers to your facet joints, which shrinks the opening for your peripheral nerves to exit your spine.
Second, your body may grow bone spurs in your spine to make up for the lost cartilage. Unfortunately, there’s not enough space in your spine to accommodate extra bony growths, and they end up invading your spinal column and reducing the space available for your nerves.
Herniated discs, thickened ligaments, and spinal tumors or cysts can also cause spinal stenosis.
The first step in treating any type of chronic pain condition is to identify its true root cause. Dr. Nasir, our pain management expert, has years of experience in diagnosing and treating spinal stenosis. He begins by reviewing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history and performs a physical exam. Dr. Nasir may also perform some standard neurological tests to check your balance, strength, and sensation.
Dr. Nasir may also ask you to perform a few gentles stretches. Specific movements compress different nerves, and your response to these stretches can help him identify and locate the condition causing your pain.
If necessary, Dr. Nasir may also order tests, like X-rays and MRIs, to confirm spinal stenosis.
If your back pain is caused by spinal stenosis, we can help. Dr. Nasir creates customized treatment plans to alleviate your pain and heal the condition that’s causing your stenosis. For example, he may recommend spinal injections and physical therapy. We can also help you lose weight and add physical activity to your day to reduce stress on your spine and keep your muscles and connective tissue strong and supple.
If you have a back pain that’s interfering with your life and are worried about spinal stenosis, call us here at Skilled Pain Care Clinic, PA, or make an appointment online.