South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine
Seth Kaufman, D.O.
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist located in Davenport, FL & Miami, FL
When the space in your spinal canal narrows, you have spinal stenosis — a common cause of chronic back pain. If you’re experiencing symptoms of this condition, double board-certified Seth Kaufman, DO, of South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine, can help. At the practice’s offices in Davenport and Miami, Florida, Dr. Kaufman specializes in using nonsurgical treatments, including epidural steroid injections, to address the problems causing your spinal stenosis. Call South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine today or book an appointment online to benefit from his expertise.
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal canal — the channel inside your spine through which your spinal cord runs. This condition causes chronic neck or back pain that can spread into your arms or legs.
The pain might be partly due to damage affecting the discs, ligaments, or bones. But most often, it involves the spinal nerves. These nerves branch off your spinal cord to spread throughout your body and exit the spinal canal through small holes in the vertebrae. If your spinal canal is too narrow, the nerves are put under pressure, causing chronic pain.
What causes spinal stenosis?
A common cause of spinal stenosis is the aging process. Aging plus years of wear-and-tear makes the discs between your vertebrae harder, flatter, and more likely to bulge or herniate. The protruding disc reduces the space in your spinal canal. Changes in the alignment of your vertebrae cause further narrowing of the spinal canal.
Arthritis in the facet joints that link the bones in your spine also reduces the space in your spinal canal. Your body can respond to the weakening of your vertebrae by producing bone spurs. These bony growths are meant to help support your weakened spine but often just cause additional narrowing.
Your ligaments might also thicken, narrowing the space. Other causes include Paget’s disease (a cause of bone overgrowth), spinal tumors, and spinal trauma.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
The primary symptom of spinal stenosis is pain. Cervical spinal stenosis in your neck causes pain that spreads into your shoulders and arms. Lumbar spinal stenosis in your lower back causes pain that extends into the buttocks, hips, and legs.
Depending on which nerves are pinched, you might also experience symptoms like weakness, tingling, numbness, or a sensation of heaviness in your legs.
Spinal stenosis symptoms tend to get worse when you walk and ease off when you sit down. Leaning forward is usually helpful as it takes the pressure off of your spinal nerves.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
Dr. Kaufman’s aim when treating spinal stenosis is to reduce the pressure on your spinal nerves. Several treatments can help with this, including:
- Physical therapy
- Manual manipulation
- Therapeutic massage
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet joint injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Stem cell therapy
- Nerve blocks
- Radiofrequency ablation
Most patients with spinal stenosis respond well to conservative treatments like these. However, a small number of patients might need to undergo decompression surgery if they aren’t benefiting from less invasive treatments.
Call South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online if you have any spinal stenosis symptoms or other kinds of back pain.