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Spinal Stenosis

Summary

Your spine, or backbone, protects your spinal cord and allows you to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in your spine. The narrowing puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord and can cause pain.

Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people older than 50. Younger people with a spine injury or a narrow spinal canal are also at risk. Diseases such as arthritis and scoliosis can cause spinal stenosis, too. Symptoms might appear gradually or not at all. They include

  • Pain in your neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in your arms or legs
  • Pain going down the leg
  • Foot problems

Doctors diagnose spinal stenosis with a physical exam and imaging tests. Treatments include medications, physical therapy, braces, and surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • (American College of Rheumatology)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (North American Spine Society)
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Specifics

  • (North American Spine Society)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Images

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (BroadcastMed) - Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Shawnee Mission, KS, 3/05/2014

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (North American Spine Society)
  • (North American Spine Society)

Find an Expert

  • (Arthritis Foundation)
  • (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
  • (American Physical Therapy Association)
  • (American College of Rheumatology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

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