Spinal Stenosis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments in Allentown, PA
Spinal stenosis is a degenerative condition that develops when the spaces within the spine narrow, applying pressure on the nerves. This can lead to various symptoms, including pain, numbness, and weakness in the back and limbs.
If you or someone you love suffers from spinal stenosis, seeking prompt medical attention is advisable to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications. If you live in Allentown, PA, our experienced team at NJ Spine and Ortho is ready to provide expert care and personalized treatment options to address your specific needs.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
Several factors can contribute to the development of spinal stenosis, with age being a primary risk factor. As we grow older, the spine undergoes changes, such as the formation of bone spurs and the thickening of ligaments, leading to the shrinking of the spinal canal. This narrowing, in turn, puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in the characteristic symptoms of spinal stenosis in Allentown, PA.
Herniated discs can also cause spinal stenosis. Disk herniation occurs when the soft, cushion-like discs between the vertebrae rupture or become displaced due to degenerative reasons. When a disc herniates, its soft inner material can protrude outward, exerting pressure on nearby nerves and leading to the spinal canal narrowing.
In addition, spinal stenosis can be associated with degenerative conditions like arthritis. Osteoarthritis, a common age-related joint disease, can affect the spine, culminating in the breakdown of cartilage between the vertebrae. The loss of cartilage causes joint inflammation and, subsequently, the compression of nerves within the spinal canal.
While age-related factors play a significant role in spinal stenosis, other cases of the condition can be linked to congenital factors. This happens when an individual is born with a narrower spinal canal, which can predispose them to experience spinal stenosis later in life. However, congenital stenosis is not as common as age-related or degenerative stenosis.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis manifests with multiple symptoms, the severity of which varies depending on the location and extent of the condition. Timely recognition of these signs is vital for seeking appropriate medical attention and intervention. One common symptom of spinal stenosis is persistent and localized back pain. Individuals affected by this condition often experience neck or lower back discomfort. The pain may worsen over time and can be exacerbated by activities that involve standing or walking for extended periods.
Some individuals may find relief when sitting or leaning forward, as this position temporarily alleviates pressure on the spinal canal and nerves. Patients with spinal stenosis in Allentown, PA frequently report sensations of tingling or numbness in their arms or legs, commonly known as paresthesia. This occurs due to nerve compression arising from the narrowing of the spinal canal. Affected individuals may also feel limb weakness, making it challenging to perform everyday tasks or engage in physical activities comfortably.
Stenosis may lead to difficulty walking or maintaining balance. The narrowing of the spinal canal can impede nerve function, giving rise to reduced coordination and mobility. If you or someone you love in Allentown, PA, is experiencing any of these symptoms, consider seeking immediate professional medical evaluation and care at NJ Spine and Orthopedic.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis in Allentown, PA
Diagnosing spinal stenosis helps provide effective treatment and improve patients’ quality of life. Our specialists employ a comprehensive approach to accurately diagnose this condition. We begin by thoroughly reviewing the patient’s medical history, including past injuries and health conditions. A critical part of the diagnostic process involves a comprehensive physical examination that assesses the patient’s range of motion, reflexes, and muscle strength.
We may also employ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to get detailed images of the condition of the spinal canal, discs, and nerves. These images enable us to understand the extent of the stenosis to find the most suitable treatment plan. Our dedicated team offers several treatment options tailored to each patient’s needs, including:
- Physical Therapy: We may recommend specific exercises and stretches that can help improve flexibility and strengthen the surrounding muscles, providing support to the spine.
- Medications: Another alternative is to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and pain medications to alleviate symptoms.
- Cortisone injections: If physical therapy and medications are ineffective, we may use a regimen of cortisone injections to offer long-term pain relief.
In case conservative treatments fail, we can recommend surgery options, like a laminectomy. It involves removing a portion of the vertebra called the lamina to create more space for the nerves.
Choose NJ Spine & Orthopedic for Spinal Stenosis Treatment in Allentown, PA
The NJ Spine & Orthopedic team is dedicated to delivering compassionate care and practical solutions to patients suffering from spinal stenosis in Allentown, PA. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists work closely with each patient to understand their unique needs and goals, tailoring treatment plans to provide the best possible outcomes.
We also have state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical technology to ensure patients receive the highest standard of care. Moreover, our medical team is up-to-date with the latest advancements in spinal stenosis treatment, offering a range of non-surgical, minimally invasive, and surgical options to suit individual cases. Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 553-0612 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free future.