Spinal stenosis occurs in the cervical and/or lumbar spine when the spinal canal and/or nerve passageways (called neuroforamen or foramen) become narrow. It is a common cause of neck and low back pain. If the spinal canal is narrowed the disorder is also called central stenosis. If the foramen is affected, it is referred to as foraminal stenosis. When either condition develops, the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves are compressed. Sometimes patients have both central canal and foraminal stenosis.
Cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis is a compression problem. When the spinal cord and/or nerve roots become compressed, symptoms develop. While some patients are born with spinal stenosis (congenital), most cases develop in people older than age 50. Degenerative spinal stenosis, as it may be called, results from normal aging and spinal wear and tear during life. Injury or trauma can contribute to the development of stenosis symptoms. For example, neck trauma that occurred months or years before may lead to cervical spinal stenosis. Here are the symptoms of spinal stenosis:
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
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