Spinal stenosis refers to narrowing of the spinal canal that protects the spinal cord and its branching nerves. When inflammation or other conditions cause the canal to compress these nerves, it can cause pain in the area as well as radiating pain to the limbs. Once this pain begins, spinal stenosis has usually progressed to a level that must be treated.
Spinal stenosis may occur simply from wear and tear over the years or as a gradual condition following back or neck trauma. There may also be underlying conditions like degenerative disc disease, thickened ligaments in the spine, or even tumors that could be causing the spinal canal to narrow. This is why it is important to see a back specialist like Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky immediately if you experience back or neck pain for any of these other symptoms:
- Problems with gait and balance
- Clumsy hand coordination
- Upper extremity pain and weakness
- Numbness, tingling, pins and needles sensation
Dr. Mizhiritsky can order an MRI along with conducting a physical exam to determine the exact causes of your symptoms. After this, he will be able to work with you to build a treatment plan that is most appropriate for your condition. Often, spinal stenosis can be managed with a physical therapy program that includes manual therapy and stretching the tissues that tighten and inflame around the spinal canal. Often times, if spinal stenosis is causing severe pain or disrupting your motion, an epidural steroid injection can help relieve inflammation for months at a time. A nerve root block is another type of minimally invasive injection that can block pain being transmitted by a particular nerve root in the spine.
Dr. Leon Popovitz and Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, along with their team of best-in-class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best-rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. This, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, leads to athletes of all levels returning to their top physical potential.