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Spinal Stenosis at NJ Spine and Wellness

As your body’s central support structure, your spine is connected to numerous parts of your musculoskeletal system, serving the vital function of protecting your spinal cord and nerves. Within your spine are bony openings known as foramina. The foramina are located between the spine’s vertebrae, creating a passageway for your nerves to pass through and travel to other parts of the body. When this passageway narrows, it can put pressure on the nerves, causing a condition known as spinal stenosis.

Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis places pressure on the spinal cord, which can cause myelopathy, a compression injury to the spinal cord, as well as radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in the spinal column. As a result, the following symptoms may ensue:


You may feel a dull pain in the neck or lower back or shooting pain in the legs or arms. In some cases, the pain will vary over time, and it may also increase during certain activities.


You may feel reduced sensations, pins, and needles, or complete numbness in your legs, arms, or other parts of the body.


Not only can you feel weakness in the legs or arms, but problems with coordination may also accompany this sensation. In severe cases, you may experience bladder or bowel dysfunction.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the foramina narrow. There are several ways that the nerve passageways may become restricted, including:

Bone Spurs

Everyday wear and tear can lead to damage to your spinal bones, creating bone spurs in the spinal canal. Bone spurs are an overgrowth of bone, commonly protruding along the bone’s edges.

Thickened Ligaments

Ligaments are fibrous bands of tissue that hold the vertebrae in place. Over time, your ligaments can become thicker and stiffer, causing them to bulge into the spinal canal.

Spinal Injuries

Dislocations, fractures, and displaced bones can all damage the structures in the spinal canal. Swelling due to a sudden trauma like a car accident can also put excess pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.

Herniated Discs

Your intervertebral discs are soft cushions between your vertebrae that act as shock absorbers to prevent spinal damage during movement. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like inner center of the disc seeps out and presses on the spinal cord and nerves.


While uncommon, tumors can grow inside the spinal cord within the membranes encompassing the spinal cord or between the vertebrae.

Types of Spinal Stenosis

There are two main types of spinal stenosis: cervical and lumbar. Cervical stenosis is when the narrowing occurs in the neck, while lumbar stenosis is when the narrowing is present in the lower back. Lumbar stenosis is the most common type of spinal stenosis, and it can lead to a collection of symptoms known as neurogenic claudication. The symptoms associated with neurogenic claudication include:

  • Weakness or heaviness in the legs
  • Tingling or cramping in the hips, buttocks, lower back, or legs
  • Worsening of pain when standing upright
  • Lessened symptoms when sitting or leaning forward

Treatment for Spinal Stenosis

When treating your spinal stenosis, you should first consult with a specialist at NJ Spine and Wellness specialist. Depending on the extent of your condition, we may be able to treat it with non-surgical approaches such as:

  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Bracing
  • Oral medications
  • Spinal decompression
  • Pain management
  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

More severe or advanced cases of spinal stenosis may require interventional spine treatment or surgery from a doctor who specializes in procedures like a laminectomy or a spinal fusion. The surgeons at NJ Spine and Wellness usually opt to perform minimally invasive procedures utilizing state-of-the-art technology and equipment to shorten recovery times and decrease pain post-operation.

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