Lumbar Stenosis And Pain Management That Works

Lumbar Stenosis And Pain Management That Works

As you age, your body will go through several changes, including your spine. The aches and pain become more frequent and more intense.  We seek home remedy for pain management and have good success in most cases.

But when the pain is here, in the vertebrae can develop arthritis and the intervertebral discs may begin to bulge. And if that doesn’t sound painful enough, the ligamentum flavum, which is the strong ligament connecting the vertebrae’s liminae, may start to buckle. It is the gradual aging of the spine’s structures and leads to the spinal column narrowing, which can cause many other symptoms.

Those changes can take place one-at-a-time alone or in any combination. Either way, you can end up with spinal stenosis. The word stenosis is Greek and is defined as choking. So spinal stenosis is your spine choking and while it is most common for those 50 years or older, it can happen to anyone at any age.

The Facts & The Information

The bulk of cases of spinal stenosis come about in the lower back or lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis is the misalignment and slippage of the vertebrae, can be a factor in spinal stenosis as well. Achy calves or cramping calves is the most common symptom indicating spinal stenosis. As the condition grows worse, it can become difficult to stand or walk because of the intense leg pain. As the pain becomes more intense, the person suffering from spinal stenosis seeks stronger pain management.

The Symptoms

It is of key importance is to have a thorough understanding of the wide range of symptoms that are associated with spinal stenosis symptoms. Spinal stenosis can develop at any part of the spinal column but is most common in the lumbar area of the spine and next most common is the in the cervical spine or neck area.

The symptoms a patient will develop are dependent upon the location and severity of the condition and will also make the determination of how a doctor will treat it and what kind of pain management is best. The most common symptoms are: 

•    Aching or Cramping In The calves

•    Numbness, Pain, or Tingling From The Lower Back to The Butt and Legs

•    Lower Back and Neck Pain

•    Cramping, Numbness, Pain, or Tingling In Arms

•    Arms and Leg Weakness

The Diagnosis

A pain management doctor that is experienced with spinal stenosis is the best one to provide a proper diagnosis. The pain from spinal stenosis is similar to the pain of other disorders which can cloud making an accurate determination of the source. Getting a proper diagnosis is needed in order for the correct treatment and pain management to be prescribed.

 A proper diagnosis will include:

•    A Complete Clinical Evaluation

•    A Complete Medical History

•    An Analysis Of The Symptoms

•    A Physical Examination

•    Testing Which May Include CT Scans, EMG, MRI, and/or x-rays

From these advanced techniques of diagnosis, it is easier for the pain management doctor to pinpoint the source where the patient’s pain is coming. Then they are better able to prescribe therapy or treatment that will help the most.

Possible Treatments

There are several different types of treatments that a pain management doctor may choose. Here we’ll take a look at one of the four different treatments: 

The Epidural Nerve Block

This is the process of a corticosteroid medication being injected into the patient’s back in the spinal column’s epidural space between the dura and the interior surface of the spinal canal which is formed by the vertebrae.

A local anesthetic is applied to the skin that will numb the injection site. Then a spinal needle is inserted while the patient is fluoroscopic, a contrast agent that will help the pain management doctor confirm where the needle is placed. A local anesthetic and a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory are delivered into that epidural space which will shrink the swelling that is around nerve roots and relieve the pain and pressure the patient is feeling.

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