Stenosis of the spine: symptoms, causes and treatment
Stenosis of the cervical spine is a serious disease that affects the spinal canal of a person. The disease mostly well localized and affects one of the spine. When the lesion there is a narrowing of the spinal canal, this nerve roots is compressed. As a result, the patient experiences a number of unpleasant symptoms that may arise from time to time or to last long enough.
The disease can be both separate and secondary (e.g., osteoarthritis). It often happens that the stenosis affects not only the spine, but also affects many internal organs.
The defeat of the spinal canal may be a long time to manifest. Symptoms begin to appear in the moment when the damage affects the nerve endings. Nerve damage can’t be asymptomatic and the person begins to experience discomfort. Usually the symptoms of spinal stenosis are:
Stenosis of the spine the patient may experience severe pain in the legs. This is because peredelyvayut roots nerve endings. Often, this symptom is accompanied by cramps, leg numbness, claudication. Patient problematic for a long time to be in the same position. If a person is long time to stand or sit, the pain begins to intensify.
The painful syndrome is when the patient begins to move, bends over or squats. But enough to return to the standing position as the pain begins to return. If the patient begins to limp, then it is difficult to overcome even minimum distance.
The less healthy the patient becomes, the more likely that the treatment of this form of stenosis will need surgery. An important symptom is a false limp. With this defeat very difficult to climb or descend the stairs.
The reason for the development of stenosis of the spine may be a hernia. It provokes a variable back pain. In this disease there is a displacement of the discs contributes to the narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of nerve endings. Usually in this case there is a loss of the lumbar spine. As a result, the patient experiences pain in the hips and legs. Often as a secondary symptom of numbness in the affected area, weakness throughout the body, tingling in the legs.
Spinal stenosis of the cervical often is accompanied by painful sensations in the upper back. This is due to the fact that occurs by displacement of the upper nerve roots. Painful sensations may appear periodically, but sometimes the attacks last a long time. The patient may lose the feeling in my upper back, neck and hands.
Often patients complain of tingling in the hands. The defeat is accompanied by headache and dizziness.
The causes of the disease
Most often stenosis is provoked by wear of the tissues or deformity of the vertebrae. In the result of injury or inflammatory process of the cartilage and bone begin to break down and clog the spinal canal. The main causes that trigger the disease include:
To provoke the development of stenosis of the spine can and age-related changes in the human body. Frequent physical exertion or long regular stay in one position can affect the development of the disease. Spinal stenosis can be congenital, acquired or combined. Usually, when the disease affected only one of the sections of the spine.
Most often the disease occurs in people older than 60 years. This is due to the formation on the vertebrae osteophytes, expansion joints and herniation. Often the cause of illness can become other ailments. In most cases, these are different forms of arthritis. Inflammation, which formed as a result of severe injury to the back can cause stenosis.
The disease can be congenital. This means that the person is initially very narrow spinal canal. But the patient may not know of the existence of such anomalies, and symptoms may not manifest themselves until the beginning of the degenerative process.
The main symptom of lesions of the lower back — long back pain, which may occasionally go to the hip and legs. The patient experiences severe heaviness in the legs and sometimes numbness. Weakness in the lumbar damage can occur suddenly or last a long period. The patient feels stiffness in the movements, which takes place after slight exercise.
Over time, the patient has to give himself more time to rest, and any physical activity begins to sharply degrade it. Pain and weakness are usually caused by severe narrowing of blood vessels. The patient has impaired circulation and damaged area does not receive the required elements.
Development of stenosis of the spine may occur not only in elderly people. Quite often injuries of the lumbar suffer the young people. Provoke the development of the disease in this case, severe injury to the lumbar back. The risk group also includes athletes who are forced to give heavy load on the lower back.
In addition, the cause of stenosis of the spine can be any back trouble. This will be the case if treatment of the primary disease was not started in time. Then the spinal stenosis acts as a secondary disease. It can provoke arthrosis, intervertebral hernia, osteophytes, hypertrophy of the joints.
The defeat of the cervical spine
Occurrence of this disease in the upper back area due to the presence of destructive or inflammatory process in this area. The spinal canal may be injured in various tumors, bone growths and calcified elements which will lead to deformation of the spinal canal. The cause of the displacement may be abscesses or tumors.
Rare patients in whom such damage inborn nature. Compression in the cervical spine is very rare and can be triggered by trauma. This area is less often affected due to injuries. Usually the damage makes itself felt for a long time. Stenosis of the cervical can long period to progress without symptoms and become apparent only at the last stage.
The disease can be both chronic and acute. Most common is the chronic. At the moment when the compression of the nerve roots becomes critical, the patient begins to experience severe pain in neck, shoulder Department, hands, and head. Often the only way of treatment can be operation.
When injury nerve endings is often observed violation of reflexes in the tendons. As a result, the patient feels severe weakness in the hands and sometimes numbness. Patients there tingling in the hands, and sometimes it may be partial or complete loss of sensation. Sometimes these violations can also affect other parts of the body. Stenosis often causes disorders of the intestine and urogenital system.
The patient has problems urinating and sexual organs. Stenosis of the cervical can cause paralysis.
Conservative methods of treatment
If the spinal stenosis was discovered at an early stage, the traditional treatment methods can be successful. If the patient has no problems with movement, and the work of the intestine and the urogenital system is not broken, no reason to pursue surgical intervention no. Such patients will be enough medication treatment. But even if the patient should have surgery, the doctor is obliged to offer him the conservative treatment for 3 months.
First, the doctor will prescribe patients non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, which relieve the most severe symptoms. The patient must do physical therapy. These procedures will help to relax the muscles of the spine, restore joint function and to develop the vertebrae. The patient it is advisable to spend more time at rest. To return to an active lifestyle, you need to slowly. Otherwise symptoms may return.
For patients who suffer from claudication, it is necessary to take short walks every day. It is important in the conservative treatment of wearing a special brace, which fixes the damaged part of the back and aligns it. This corrector reduces the load exerted on the spine and combats degeneration. It is important to do therapeutic exercises. There is a course of specially designed exercises, which helps to relax and strengthen muscles. To carry all the items you need very carefully.
It is desirable to initially conduct classes with the coach.
For the treatment of stenosis of the frequently used surgical method. Surgery can significantly reduce the pressure on the spinal cord, and to preserve the integrity of the vertebrae. There are several types of operations:
When conducting decompression laminectomy, the doctor removes the entire arc of the spine — bone, which is located above the spinal canal. This allows you to increase the space for nerve, opens access to other damaged areas of the spine. During the operation, they, too, can remove if needed.
A laminotomy is a partial removal of the damaged arc. In this case, the pressure on the channel is not completely removed but significantly reduced. This operation also provides access to damaged vertebrae and discs that can be removed or replaced when necessary. The risks of this surgery are very small.
Stabilization of the spine may be performed as a separate operation, along with a laminectomy. The goal of this surgery fused vertebrae. Using this method, when the patient’s vertebrae come together. The doctor uses additional elements in order to fill the space between the separated parts of the spine. To fill the space can be used a variety of tools:
Often this surgery is performed if necessary to stabilize the spine or correct a deformity. The rehabilitation period after surgery is very short, after a few days the patient can move normally. Stabilization can be dynamic. If stenosis was detected early, then surgery will be partial replacement of damaged areas. The spine of the patient insert a special implant, which partially reduces the load exerted on the spine, and absorbs movement.