Signs You Might Have Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis may or may not be accompanied by pain, tingling, and numbness. The condition is spinal stenosismost commonly caused by the wear and tear on the spine related to osteoarthritis. The narrowing and compression of the spaces surrounding the nerves in the spine can cause irritation, inflammation, and even the loss of mobility. The earlier stenosis is discovered and treated, the better are the chances of successful treatment without surgery.

Two Types of Stenosis

The type of stenosis you suffer from depends upon the location of the compression. Cervical stenosis is found in the neck and upper back, between the shoulders. Lumbar stenosis is found in the lower back. Lumbar stenosis is the more common condition. Either condition can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and a loss of mobility and use of limbs.


While CT scans or MRIs may show stenosis, many people don’t show symptoms in the early stages. Therefore, it’s important to have regular scans if the condition is likely due to your personal medical history. Symptoms include tingling and numbness, or weakness in the arm, hand, foot or leg. Some patients experience neck and back pain, and even problems with walking and balance. Severe cases may even produce problems with bowel and bladder function. Lumbar stenosis may also create pain or cramping in the legs when standing and walking that is relieved by bending and sitting.

When To See Your Doctor

Stenosis symptoms may mimic other disorders. Some back pain is caused by muscle strain, and will go away on its own with rest and care. Some signs that stenosis is the cause, and that you should see your doctor include:

  • Intermittent pain- the pain comes and goes, severe at some times and almost non-existent at others.
  • Positional pain- Certain positions increase the pain. In particular, standing, walking and other upright activities like riding a bike cause pain and a cramping sensation in the legs.
  • The pain changes- When you lie down, sit, or lean forward, it relieves the pressure, so you’ll notice a reduction in pain within minutes.
  • Small changes bring big relief- even a small shift in position brings about significant relief.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of spinal stenosis, call for a consultation. We can recommend non-invasive treatments that can bring long-term relief.