What Is Spinal Stenosis?

woman with back pain

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  • Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord and nerves
  • Spinal stenosis is often acknowledged as an age-related spinal condition, although there are other factors that can heighten your risk for it
  • Nowadays, various studies and trials are underway to help understand this condition more. Clinical trials for possible treatments and medical care have advanced in providing a better quality of life for patients with spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord and nerves. It can have numerous causes, ranging from age-related bone degeneration to bone overgrowth. A considerable percentage of the American population is affected by this condition, with baby boomers making up the majority.

The word “stenosis” has been used in medicine for thousands of years, dating back to the first century A.D. It was first used by Greek philosopher Themison of Laodicea to characterize the retention of atoms by the constriction of glands.

The concept of spinal stenosis, on the other hand, was introduced by W.A. Lane in the early 1900s. The term “stenosis spinalis” referred to the narrowing in the diameter of the spinal canal, nerve root tunnel or the intervertebral foramen.1

Nowadays, various studies and trials are underway to help understand this condition more. Clinical trials for possible treatments and medical care have advanced in providing a better quality of life for patients with spinal stenosis.2

Conditions Connected to Spinal Stenosis

Researchers have noted that spinal stenosis has numerous comorbidities or conditions that appear alongside it. Some of these include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis. The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, or the wear and tear of the cartilage between the bones. In worse cases, osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of the bone and the development of bone spurs.3 When found in the spinal column, these bone spurs can cause the constriction of the spinal cord, leading to spinal stenosis.4
  • Osteoporosis. This condition entails the weakening and thinning of bone density. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can lead to the narrowing of the spinal canal.5
  • Paget’s Disease. This condition refers to the deformation and enlargement of various bones in the body, with the backbone having the highest susceptibility. Because of this deformity, the spinal cord can be compressed, causing spinal stenosis.6
  • Depression. While there is no direct correlation between these two conditions, patients who suffer from chronic pain have been observed to have a higher chance of developing depression. Physical pain has also been connected to the disruption of serotonin and norepinephrine production, chemicals responsible for both pain and mood regulation.7

Who Is at Risk of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is often acknowledged as an age-related spinal condition, although there are other factors that can heighten your risk for it. Some of these factors include the following:

  • Gender. Women have a higher chance of suffering from bone deterioration due to osteoporosis, increasing their susceptibility to developing spinal stenosis.8
  • Birth defects. Patients with birth defects that affect the bone structure or formation have higher risks for spinal stenosis because of the possible constriction of the spinal canal.9
  • Previous spinal injuries. People who have suffered from spinal injuries or people who partake in high-risk activities have a higher chance of developing this spinal condition because of the possible damage to the spinal cord.10

MORE ABOUT SPINAL STENOSIS

Spinal Stenosis:Introduction

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Spinal Stenosis Causes

Types of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Spinal Stenosis Surgeries

Spinal Stenosis Prevention

Spinal Stenosis Exercises

Spinal Stenosis Diet

Spinal Stenosis FAQ


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