Spinal Stenosis

Neurosurgical Specialists of West County

Neurosurgeons located in Saint Louis, MO

Degenerative changes in the spine, especially after you turn 50, can lead to a painful condition known as spinal stenosis. At Neurosurgical Specialists of West County in St. Louis, the team of neurosurgical specialists offers comprehensive diagnostics and treatment for chronic pain and other symptoms of spinal stenosis. Learn more about your options for addressing spinal stenosis and preventing long-term mobility issues by calling the office today.

Spinal Stenosis Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the condition when your spinal canal begins to narrow. This can result from age-related degeneration or disease and cause chronic pain and other symptoms when structures in the spine begin pressing on nearby nerves or the spinal cord. 

Common causes of spinal stenosis in addition to age include:

  • Arthritis
  • Bulging discs
  • Thickening of ligaments

You may also develop spinal stenosis due to a previous injury to the spine.

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis symptoms can affect any area along your spine, especially the lumbar, or lower back, and the cervical spine, or neck. When pressure is put on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, you can experience symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Weakness 
  • Numbness
  • Radiating pain into the limbs

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can worsen over time and make it difficult to walk or stay physically active without chronic pain.

How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?

During your evaluation, your Neurosurgical Specialists of West County surgeon evaluates your health history and listens to your symptoms. They can often pinpoint spinal stenosis as the problem based on the location of your pain and the severity of other symptoms.

To confirm spinal stenosis-related nerve compression, your doctor may order an MRI of the spine. 

Based on the results of your evaluation, your provider creates a treatment plan customized to meet your needs.

What treatments are available for spinal stenosis?

Initially, your surgeon may try conservative treatments, like medications and physical therapy, to alleviate pain and improve your mobility. If these therapies aren’t effective in relieving pain, you may be a candidate for surgery.

Depending on the location of the nerve compression, your surgeon has extensive training in multiple techniques to treat spinal stenosis and can customize a plan based on your specific needs. If your back pain has become chronic, schedule a spinal stenosis evaluation by calling the office today.