Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting American adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, eight out of every ten people suffer from back pain at some point during their lifetimes. Lumbar spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the spinal canal—is a common cause of this problem, and can occur as a part of the aging process. Read on to learn more about the causes of spinal stenosis of the lower back and what you can do to manage the pain.
As people age, changes occur in the soft tissues and bony structures of the lower back. The intervertebral discs, once hydrated to help absorb shock and support the vertebrae, can become dry and weak. These changes place undue stress on the joints of the spine, which can in turn lead to a degenerative condition known as arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic disease that occurs when the protective cartilage of a joint wears down and leaves the bony surfaces to rub painfully against one another. To help resolve this problem and support the weakening spine, new bony outgrowths may develop. These bone spurs can eventually grow into the spinal canal and cause the narrowing seen in spinal stenosis.
In addition to playing a role in the development of arthritis, the intervertebral discs may also be involved in spinal stenosis through herniation. Disc herniation occurs when a crack or other vulnerable spot in the disc allows the jelly-like interior to escape. This substance can place pressure on the spinal cord or the spinal nerves.
There are a variety of nonsurgical treatments available to help relieve the symptoms associated with lumbar spinal stenosis. To learn more about your treatment options, consider scheduling a consultation with the experts at SpineOne. Our medical team wants to help you improve your quality of life through advanced nonsurgical options. Call our Denver-area practice today at (888) 721-0459 for more information about our spine care services.