What can happen if spinal stenosis is left untreated?

Can spinal stenosis heal without surgery?

Can spinal stenosis be treated without surgery? Yes. In fact, less than 5% of patients with a spinal disorder ever require spine surgery. There is a wide variety of medications available to relieve inflammation, pain, and muscle spasm.

Is spinal stenosis life threatening?

The spinal canal runs through each vertebra, allowing the spinal cord to pass through the bone. When the canal narrows, it puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves branching off the spinal cord. While lumbar spinal stenosis is not life threatening, severe spinal stenosis can cause significant disability.

Is spinal stenosis a permanent disability?

Is Spinal Stenosis a Permanent Disability? If you have spinal stenosis, and it is serious enough that you are unable to work or perform normal day-to-day activities, it may result in permanent disability and you might want to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

Will I end up in a wheelchair with spinal stenosis?

However, there may be a diseased spinal cord that is causing this symptom. As the disease advances and if left untreated, patients eventually end up in a wheelchair and lose the ability to walk. Another symptom that is present early on is hand “clumsiness”.

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Is spinal stenosis a crippling disease?

When spinal stenosis compresses the spinal cord in the neck, symptoms can be much more serious, including crippling muscle weakness in the arms and legs or even paralysis.

Does spinal stenosis hurt all the time?

Key Considerations with Surgery for Lumbar Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is generally not progressive. The pain tends to come and go, but it usually does not progress with time. The natural history with spinal stenosis, in the majority of patients, is that of episodic periods of pain and dysfunction.

What are the final stages of spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis, often an end stage of the spine degenerative process, is characterized by leg pain with walking. Pain will go away with rest but you may have to specifically sit down to ease the leg pain.

Is walking bad for spinal stenosis?

Walking is a suitable exercise for you if you have spinal stenosis. It is low-impact, and you can easily vary the pace as needed. Consider a daily walk (perhaps on your lunch break or as soon as you get home).

Can you live a normal life with spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can’t be cured but responds to treatment

“The symptoms of spinal stenosis typically respond to conservative treatments, including physical therapy and injections.” Dr. Hennenhoefer says you can live a normal life with a spinal stenosis diagnosis and can work on improving your mobility and comfort.

What are the main causes of spinal stenosis?

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis, the gradual wear and tear that happens to your joints over time. Spinal stenosis is common because osteoarthritis begins to cause changes in most people’s spines by age 50. That’s why most people who develop symptoms of spinal stenosis are 50 or older.

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What should I avoid with spinal stenosis?

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

  • Avoid Excessive Back Extension. …
  • Avoid Long Walks or Running. …
  • Avoid Certain Stretches and Poses. …
  • Avoid Loading a Rounded Back. …
  • Avoid Too Much Bed Rest. …
  • Avoid Contact Sports.