Shooting pain to an arm or leg? Sharp neck or back pain? You may have spinal stenosis.
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Treating spinal stenosis is our area of expertise.
If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, also referred to as canal stenosis or spinal canal stenosis, you might be wondering exactly what causes this spine condition and the treatment options available to you. At Laser Spine Orlando and Laser Spine Brevard, we believe in educating our patients on their spine condition and the treatment options available to them so they can play an active role in their treatment conversation. When it comes to your health, no one knows your body and your needs better than you. Let us help you research your condition and treatment options so you can make the best decision for your needs.
As you continue to research spinal stenosis, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Care Team with any questions or concerns. We are here to help guide you to find relief from your chronic pain and restore your quality of life.
Overview of spinal stenosis
Understanding spinal stenosis begins with the definition of spinal stenosis. Stenosis is a Greek word that means “narrowing or constricting space.” That being said, spinal stenosis is simply the narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spinal cord and nerve roots of the spine. There are many types of spinal stenosis, including central canal stenosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and cervical spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis generally occurs in two sections of the spine: cervical and lumbar. The cervical spine is located in the neck, and the lumbar spine is located in the lower back. The reason why these two sections are diagnosed with spinal stenosis more than the thoracic spine (middle of the back) is that the cervical and lumbar spine serves to bend, move, and provide flexibility. The thoracic spine’s main function is to provide support and stabilization. When the spinal canal narrows, the nerves in the spinal cord are more likely to be compressed if there is continual bending and moving of the vertebrae. For this reason, spinal stenosis is more evident and symptomatic in the cervical and lumbar sections of the spine.
While the definition of spinal stenosis is relatively simple to understand, the cause of spinal stenosis is slightly more complex.
Causes of spinal stenosis
Determining the cause of spinal stenosis can be complicated because, while spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, there is usually an underlying spine condition that is causing the spinal canal to narrow. For example, a bulging or herniated disc would cause the spinal canal to narrow in a particular place because the bulging disc has moved out of its normal zone in the spine. In this case, the patient would have spinal stenosis caused by a bulging disc.
However, there are several instances when spinal stenosis is caused by nothing more than the natural aging process. As we age, the ligaments in our spine can become thicker and compressed. Bone spurs may grow on the vertebrae of the spine. Discs in between vertebrae may deteriorate and misalign along the spine. All of these natural aging occurrences can cause the spinal canal to narrow and a nerve root or the spinal cord to be impacted.
Some of the most common spine conditions that cause spinal stenosis are as follows:
- Bone spurs
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
If you have been diagnosed with any of these spine conditions, you might want to consult your physician about the possibility of your condition causing spinal stenosis.
Lumbar / Cervical Laminectomy
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Epidural Steroid Injection
Total Disc Replacement
Tranforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
How you can help prevent spinal stenosis
Since a main cause of spinal stenosis is the general aging process, standard healthy life changes can be an effective way to help prevent spinal stenosis. For example, consider implementing the following habits into your daily life:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet
- Comfortable sleep
- Good posture
A regular exercise program, like swimming, yoga and Pilates, helps develop core strength and allows you to maintain strength and flexibility in your spine. That, matched with a healthy diet, ideal weight and proper nourishment, is the key to maintaining a healthy spine. In addition, sleeping on a bed that properly supports your spine, as well as practicing good posture and lifting mechanics, can help you avoid and reduce spine-related injuries and conditions.
Safe practices at home and the workplace can help you avoid injuries of all kinds. When it comes to injuries to your back, there are certain activities you should try and avoid, or take precautions against. Visit our section on the causes of spinal stenosis to learn more about how to avoid developing this painful condition.
If you think you show signs of the condition, or would like to confirm your suspicions that you may have spinal stenosis, we recommend visiting our symptoms page. Here you can see if you have one or more of the common symptoms shared by most people with the condition.
If you would like to find out more about your condition and how we can help you, please feel free to contact us. Our team will provide you with a no-cost MRI review to help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgeries.
And Many More
Laser Spine Orlando has helped me become pain free! Their staff is so knowledgeable and friendly, they really made me feel at home. Thank you Laser Spine Orlando for all the help!
- John S
I submitted my information and was called immediately. I was seen by a Board Certified Neurosurgeon within 24 hours. The entire staff is fantastic!
- Joseph R.
Laser Spine Orlando is the only place I've found that has a board-certified neurosurgeon and an equally stellar staff that helps patients through the entire surgical process- Sam F
Laser Spine Orlando has an awesome group of doctors and staff - Cherise N
I want to thank Dr. Molloy and the staff at Laser Spine Orlando for giving me my life back. Before seeing them I could barely walk and my pain didn't allow me to do anything around the house. After my surgery, I was pain-free within a week and was able to care for my husband without the thought of having to lie down and rest due to pain. -Margaret W
The staff at Laser Spine Orlando and Dr. Molloy are extremely professional and puts the needs of the patient ahead of themselves. I was able to get an appointment right away with Dr. Molloy after filling out a form online and within two weeks was able to get a much-needed surgery to help relieve my back and leg pain. I love these guys. -Patricia C.
Why Choose Laser Spine Orlando
Laser Spine Orlando believes in a comprehensive approach to spine pain care. Each patient is treated as an individual with personalized treatment and therapy to achieve their personal goals.
15,000 Successful Surgeries
To put it simply...a lot. Our surgeons have performed over 15,000 successful spine procedures. Each one is board certified and extremely skilled in fighting neck and back pain. We are the leaders in Laser Spine Surgery.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
The best choice for patients suffering from neck and back pain. This form of minimally invasive surgery provides an alternative to regular surgical procedures when other treatment methods have not produced the desired results. Laser techniques offer faster recovery times with fewer complications.
Pain Free Living
That's why we are here. We have a duty to the patient to do everything we can to eliminate neck and back pain. Our newest location in Orlando is equipped to handle the most complex cases. Our surgeons are highly specialized and focused on eliminating chronic pain and getting patients back to a pain free life.