- Rheumatoid Arthritis Slideshow Pictures
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- Take the RA Quiz
- Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Experience
- Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Treatment
- Lumbar spinal stenosis facts
- What is the lumbar spine, and what is lumbar spinal stenosis?
- What causes lumbar spinal stenosis?
- What are risk factors for lumbar spinal stenosis?
- What are lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose lumbar spinal stenosis?
- What is the treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis?
- Is it possible to prevent lumbar spinal stenosis?
- What is the prognosis for lumbar spinal stenosis?
Quick GuideSciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What are risk factors for lumbar spinal stenosis?
The major risk factor for lumbar spinal stenosis is aging because it is associated with degeneration of the spine. Another less common risk factor is osteoporosis as it can lead to compression fracture of the lumbar vertebrae that results in lumbar spinal stenosis.
What are lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms?
Lumbar spinal stenosis can cause
In most situations, the symptoms improve when the patient is sitting or leaning forward. Typically, painful sensations shoot down the legs with continued walking and diminish with resting. These leg sensations sometimes mimic sciatica. This particular activity-related symptom is sometimes referred to as pseudoclaudication (or neurogenic claudication) because it mimics the true claudication of poor circulation from the narrowed blood vessels of peripheral vascular disease. Standing and bending backward can make the symptoms worse. This is because bending forward increases the space in the spinal canal and vertebral foramina, while bending backward decreases this space. It is therefore more comfortable for patients to sit or lean forward. Patients are frequently unable to walk for long distances and often state that their symptoms are improved when bending forward while walking with the support of a walker or shopping cart.
The symptoms commonly worsen with time. This is because degenerative arthritis is a progressive disease that gradually becomes more severe with time. If left untreated, the compression on the nerves from lumbar spinal stenosis can lead to increasing weakness and loss of function of the legs. It can also lead to loss of bowel and bladder control and loss of sexual function.
A doctor can help determine if one's symptoms are from lumbar spinal stenosis or a different condition. Many other disorders can cause similar symptoms that mimic lumbar spinal stenosis including