Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What were the symptoms of your lumbar spinal stenosis?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

What are lumbar spinal stenosis symptoms?

Lumbar spinal stenosis can cause

  • low back pain,
  • weakness,
  • numbness,
  • pain,
  • loss of sensation in the legs and feet.

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

  • diabetic neuropathy,
  • peripheral vascular disease,
  • vascular claudication.
Return to Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

See what others are saying

Comment from: Karen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I am 57 and I had a fall from a horse last June 2014 which resulted in a rotator cuff injury. I had surgery on my shoulder last November 2014. Since January this year I have been suffering with leg pain in both legs, which keeps me awake, it always starts around 2.30 am. My physiotherapist who sees me for my shoulder operation is also seeing me about my leg pain. Last week she manipulated my lower spine. For 3 nights and days it was wonderful, no pain. Then Sunday night and every night since the pain has returned with vengeance. The pains I experience in both legs is sometimes throbbing or dull continuous ache, and then a few months ago it moved to around top of both legs in the groin area, very painful. The last 2 night and days I have experienced pain in both shins all night and day, it just won't go away. I have experienced numbness in both legs and unable to move them during the night for 10/15 seconds which seem like ages. I'm seeing my physiotherapist tomorrow and just hope he suggests an MRI. I'm due to return to work next month after having my shoulder surgery. But I feel these leg pains are going to prevent me from doing this as they are at the moment. As yet I haven't had one though I am worried it might be lumbar spinal stenosis. I have on occasions lost control of both lower functions, and have been referred back to surgeons for this.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: long island phil, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

I was in a motorcycle accident in 05 and broke my neck and back. Due to the impact I got arthritis in pelvis and lower back. Two months ago I got a pinched nerve in my spine where there is no cushion left. I had pain like I never felt before; like being electrocuted! After MRI I was set to get a laminectomy {open up the spine to let the nerves breathe} for my lumbar spinal stenosis. I have diabetes. Before I was supposed to go under they found my levels were too high and sent me home. I am bed ridden and not set to go under till July 7th. I can't bear the pain! I am on oxycodone, hydrocodone and all the rest and can't find a day {no, a minute} without pain. I am ready to drive my car into a brick wall!

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!