What is Stenosis
Narrowing in the spine is called canal stenosis . The narrowing of the spaces in the spine can cause many ailments. In case of compression in the nerves, patients cannot fully and correctly perform some of their vital activities. You can find the symptoms and causes of canal stenosis, as well as the methods of diagnosis and treatment, in the continuation of our article.
What are the Symptoms of Stenosis?
There are a number of symptoms of spinal narrowing. Although not the same frequency and severity in everyone, similar symptoms are the harbinger of stenosis. Signs of stenosis can be seen in the neck and back. According to the point where it occurs, the symptoms of stenosis can be listed as follows:
In the neck (cervical stenosis):
Weakness, numbness and tingling in the hand, arm, foot or leg.
Slight loss of balance.
Problems with walking, decreased synchrony in the legs.
Intestinal and bladder dysfunction.
Urinary incontinence and urinary incontinence.
In the lower back (Lumbar stenosis):
Pain and cramps in the legs when standing for a long time.
Numbness, weakness, or tingling in a foot or leg.
Most patients complain of intense low back and nerve pain. One of the most important symptoms of stenosis is pain that increases while working and decreases while resting.
What are the Causes of Stenosis ?
While there are several obvious causes of stenosis, the most common known cause is aging. As we age, the cells in the human body begin to lose their ability to renew themselves. The degenerative process in the body begins to thicken in the tissues. Diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disorders can also trigger the formation of stenosis. Other conditions that can cause duct stenosis include:
Congenital narrowness of the spinal column.
Benign or malignant tumors that occur in the bones.
Spinal defects at birth.
Achondroplasia (develops due to dwarfism).
Curvatures in the spine, such as kyphosis or scoliosis.
Piaget’s disease of bone; This disease causes an abnormal bone destruction in the body, followed by restructuring.
What are the Types of Stenosis ?
There are two types of stenosis: They are cervical stenosis and lumbar stenosis. In cervical stenosis, narrowing is seen in the neck region, while narrowing in lumbar stenosis is in the back region. The region where stenosis is most common is L4 – L5 and L5 – S1, that is, the lower part of the lumbar region. The reason for the increased incidence at this point is that the body’s center of gravity is in this region. Spinal stenosis is more common in men than women. It progresses slowly and usually the first symptoms are ignored by the patients. However, as the symptoms intensify, it is necessary to consult a doctor. It usually occurs after trauma.
Stenosis means stenosis. There is also a form of stenosis caused by stomach and intestinal diseases called pyloric stenosis. The overly thickened pyloric muscle causes narrowing of the gastric outlet. It can cause vomiting and other digestive system complaints, usually in infancy. It is a disease originating from the digestive system, not related to the nervous system and spine.
How Is Stenosis Diagnosed?
When diagnosing stenosis, the patient’s history and complaints are first evaluated. A detailed physical examination and evaluation is then performed. Then some imaging tests are done. These tests can be listed as follows:
X-ray, MRI scan, or CT scan to view the spine
Electromyelogram for evaluation of spinal nerves
Bone scan tests to see if the spine has grown and damaged
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
The form and supporters of treatment in spinal narrowing vary according to the location and degree of stenosis. In general, treatment of stenosis may consist of physical therapy, surgery, and medication. Which of these treatments will be preferred is decided according to the patient’s condition. In spinal stenosis, if the complaints are mild, doctor follow-up and initial physical therapy will be sufficient. At the same time, the patient’s complaints can be reduced with painkillers in order to reduce the pain.
Nerve roots may be deformed and swelling may occur at the points where the spine is compressed due to spinal stenosis. Steroid medication (corticosteroid) administered at the point where stenosis occurs first reduces inflammation and pain. It reduces the swelling in the area. The physician following the patient should decide on the use of steroids and the appropriate dose should not be exceeded.
However, exercise and physical activity are supportive and curative, as in any disease. In addition, lack of exercise causes unused muscles to weaken. With the help of a physiotherapist, physical therapy movements suitable for your health and condition both help you recover your muscle strength and heal stenosis. Physical activity makes it easier to maintain the flexibility and ideal stability of the spine. It also increases one’s balance and ability to adapt to the outside world.
Another method used in the treatment of stenosis is the decompression procedure. Doctor follow-up and control is very important in the decompression procedure performed without general anesthesia. Needle-like instruments are used in this procedure. With the application of these needle-like products, some of the thickened connective tissue at the back of the spinal column is removed. However, this treatment is not applied to patients with cervical stenosis. It can be used in patients with lumbar stenosis and thickening of the connective tissue behind the spinal column.
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