10 Different Types of Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Your spine is your backbone. Not only does it support your upper body, the spine is what makes it possible for you to move and walk around. When you experience discomfort or pain in your spine, it can be quite debilitating to your everyday movements. If you are having problems with your spine, you could be suffering from a common condition called spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is defined as an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition reduces the space available for the spinal cord and nerves. It compresses the nerve roots in the spine. Spinal stenosis mostly occurs in the neck (called the cervical spine) and the lower back (also known as the lumbar spine), but you may also feel the symptoms in your shoulders, arms, and legs.
The spinal stenosis symptoms start out slowly, but they increase in their severity over time. Should you encounter these symptoms, you are advised to visit a chiropractor to obtain a professional diagnosis and further treatment. The following are ten different types of spinal stenosis symptoms that you may experience:
1. Difficulty with standing
Any time the spine malfunctions, it affects a person’s posture. This is caused by the impact of compressed nerves in the spine. The nerves are pressed down by a bone spur or a swollen muscle, which traps and compresses the nerve roots. As a result, spinal stenosis patients cannot stand, sit, or walk for long periods without resting. If you have trouble standing up, you could be exhibiting one of the more common spinal stenosis symptoms.
2. Difficulty with walking
Your mobility is impaired when you have severe spinal stenosis. You may experience pain or weakness in your legs, causing you to become unsteady when walking. Usually, the spinal stenosis pain makes it difficult for you to walk beyond a certain distance. The pain and numbness in one or both legs will hinder you.
Does your body feel numb in certain areas? When you have spinal stenosis, it is common to experience a loss of sensation in your body. This occurs because your nerves lack the protection of the spinal cord along the stenosis area. The nerves are sometimes pinched within the narrowing channel inside the spine, which results in numbness.
4. Lack of hand coordination
Spinal stenosis hinders the nerves in your body, which will also decrease your sensitivity to touch. This interferes with your general mobility, particularly in the use of your hands. You may have difficulty picking up certain objects due to a lack of coordination. Sometimes, an item may slip out of your hands because you do not have the grip to hold onto it.
Besides the desensitization of the hands, they can also get clumsy. As a result, it becomes difficult to perform dexterous tasks such as buttoning shirts, tying a tie, or even picking up small coins.
5. Lack of balance
Has your balance gotten worse lately? Spinal stenosis often results in worsening balance, because the spine is no longer able to support your body adequately. When the nerves in your body are compromised, you lose muscle strength and your overall balance will deteriorate.
6. Pain in your body
Unfortunately, spinal stenosis can be a painful condition. You usually experience pain along the body part with the compressed nerves. You may also have cramps in your arms, hands, legs, and feet. Those with spinal stenosis often report experiencing body pain while sleeping. If this feeling persists, record where the pain occurs and how often it troubles you to your chiropractor.
7. Pain in your neck
Since the neck and the spinal cord are so closely interconnected, any neck pain symptoms could be responsible for the types of pain associated with spinal stenosis. Due to the number of central nerves that run through the neck area, it is common for the pain in your neck to spread to other parts of your body.
8. Leaning forward
The spinal stenosis symptoms occur most noticeably when standing or walking, although they will reduce when you lean forward. The act of leaning forward removes pressure from the nerves, which often leads to temporary pain relief. If you find yourself leaning forward a lot, and the pain subsides every time you do so, this could be a sign that you have spinal stenosis.
9. Lack of bladder control
Also known as incontinence, this condition denotes a loss of function in the lumbar nerve roots of the spinal canal. When you have spinal stenosis, the compression of the spine may cause you to lose control over your bowels and bladder movements. In more severe cases, this is a medical emergency and should be treated with prompt attention.
Arthritis is a disease that causes the inflammation of joints, resulting in painful immobility in the fingers, wrists, hands and feet. It is common for those with spinal stenosis to have a form of arthritis, which further aggravates the condition.