The body’s nerves are highly sensitive and delicate, so there is little room for error. Therefore, if anything decreases or narrows the spaces in the spinal column, it could place pressure on your nerves and lead to numerous issues throughout the body. This health concern, known as spinal stenosis, could result from varying issues, including bone spurs, growths, herniated discs, and osteoarthritis. If left untreated, spinal stenosis Mesquite can be a very serious condition. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the early warning signs to best prevent anything from worsening with time. Continue reading to learn more.
The compression or pinching of nerve roots in the lower back might result in lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica based on the affected nerve roots. Sciatica pain manifests as nerve pain and weakness that generally affects one leg at a go.
You may experience pain in the buttock, leg, foot, calf, thigh, or lower back based on the affected nerve roots. It is also common to experience weakness, tingling, and a pins-and-needles sensation in the regions affected by pain.
2. Neurogenic Claudication
Once the nerves in the lower back become compressed, you might experience neurogenic claudication in the legs. This health concern generally manifests in constant leg numbness or pain when standing, increased discomfort when bending the spine forward, and difficulty performing upright activities or exercises. In most cases, these symptoms alleviate with rest. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a specialist to accurately diagnose neurogenic claudication, as these concerns may often be associated with vascular claudication.
3. Foot Drop
Compression of the L5 and L4 nerve roots in your lower spine might cause motor weakness in the foot, leading to foot drop. This condition generally causes a sensation of weakness when trying to raise the toes and/or foot upward. For this reason, the individual might involuntarily drag their foot or may likely trip when trying to walk.
4. Gait Problems
Spinal stenosis may affect walking in various ways based on its location within the spine. For instance, lumbar spinal stenosis might cause gait issues because of foot drop. This condition might also result in weakness in the leg and thigh muscles, like the calves and the quadriceps.
On the other hand, cervical spinal stenosis accompanied by spinal cord compression might cause problems with maintaining balance when walking, particularly in the dark. Nevertheless, cervical spine stenosis accompanied by a pinched nerve does not lead to gait problems.
Changes in your gait might be too subtle to notice initially. However, the condition might progressively worsen, and you may experience gradually increasing falls.
5. Radiating Arm Pain
Cervical spinal stenosis might result in mild to moderate shock-like or burning pain in the shoulder, arms, or neck. You may also feel abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling, and crawling in both hands, as well as general weakness.
6. Loss of Fine Motor Skills
Cervical spine stenosis might lead to problems performing tasks that entail the hand’s fine motor skills, like tying a shoelace. In advanced stages, you might experience difficulties writing, as it becomes practically impossible to hold a pen.
Untreated spinal stenosis can sideline you with serious balance problems, debilitating pain, urinary incontinence, dependence on painkillers, depression, and reduced life quality. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these warning signs, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you start treatment, be higher the likelihood of experiencing success with conservative treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. If these treatments do not provide adequate relief, your specialist might suggest epidural steroid injections, or more aggressive therapy like surgery to correct the underlying issues.