Helpful Information

Spinal Stenosis: What It Is and How We Can Treat It

spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis can simply be defined as the narrowing of the spinal canal which can cause pressure on the spinal cord as well as the nerves within the spine. This type of injury typically progresses over time as a result of age and other medical issues. 

Below, we share more details about spinal stenosis, its symptoms and how we can help you treat it.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Like we stated before, spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal. This puts a lot of pressure on your spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that start at the base of the brain and run down your spine. According to the Cleveland Clinic, spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by osteoarthritis or “wear and tear”. You likely won’t have any major symptoms, but an X-ray or other imaging testing will often show that these changes to your spine have been happening for some time. Spinal stenosis most often occurs in people over the age of 50.

What are the Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Many people with spinal stenosis do not have symptoms. But, if they do occur, symptoms include pain, numbness, muscle weakness and impaired bladder or bowel control.

Lumbar Canal vs Cervical Spine Stenosis

There are two types of spinal stenosis: lumbar canal stenosis and cervical spine stenosis. The lumbar canal is located in the lower back. People with lumbar canal stenosis may feel pain, weakness or numbness in the legs as well as the calves and buttocks. These symptoms often increase with activity or when a person sits, bends forward or lies down. The cervical canal is located at the top of the spine, near the neck. People with cervical canal stenosis might experience pain, numbness or weakness in their shoulders, arms and legs. They can also experience clumsiness with their hands and balance disturbances. [Source: Spine Universe]

How is Spinal Stenosis Treated?

There are a variety of ways for doctors to treat spinal stenosis. Nonsurgical treatments include physical therapy, wearing a brace for support, acupuncture and adjustments of the spine by a healthcare provider. Your physician might also prescribe you an anti-inflammatory or other medication to assist with pain management. [Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases] At Petersen Neurospine, we are also able to create room for your nerves through reduction of the inflammation by injection or surgery. The severity of your stenosis will determine what course of action we choose. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of spinal stenosis or are at risk for this condition, we recommend consulting with our spine specialist – Dr. Petersen. Request an appointment with our easy-to-use form, and someone from our office will be in touch with you shortly.


Dr. Bendt P. Petersen is an orthopaedic and neurospine surgical specialist with over twenty years in operative clinical practice. He is a fellowship-trained surgeon whose practice is the only one in the Mobile-area devoted exclusively to the treatment of your spine.

The Center for Spine Health employs the most advanced operative and nonoperative therapies in concert with the most highly-trained physical therapists and other advanced ancillary practitioners to help you live the life you want to live.

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