Is Lumbar Stenosis Curable?

Lumbar stenosis is a serious spinal condition that can drastically cut down the quality of life of the patients affected. It usually affects the lower half of the body causing leg aches, weakness, loss of bladder control, numbness and even loss of sexual ability.

Unfortunately, lumbar stenosis is not curable. There is only a little one can do to stop the progression and make the structure normal and healthy as it was before. But there are many treatment options (even surgical) that can relieve the symptoms and improve the quality of life.

What is lumbar stenosis? What are its causes and why is not curable? With the inputs from spine surgery specialist in UK in UK Mr Jwalant S Mehta, we have answered all the questions here. Read on to know them

What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that houses the spine which is a bundle of nerves. The narrowing of the spinal canal naturally puts pressure on the nerves consequently troubling the movement and sensation of parts controlled by these nerves. A lumbar spine which is present in the lower back tends to be the most common victim of this stenosis.

The five vertebrae that connect the upper spine with the pelvis tend to narrow the spinal canal resulting in lumbar stenosis. Individuals who suffer from lumbar stenosis find it difficult to walk a long distance without pain catching up on them. In addition to this there is a wide variety of symptoms lumbar stenosis can trigger in the human body which are as follows:

  • Pain in the back, buttocks and down the leg.
  • Weakness, numbness, cramping and tingling sensation in the legs.
  • Loss of sensation and weakness in the feet.
  • Sudden acute back pain
  • Loss of sexual ability.

Unfortunately, that is not all. “The narrowing of the spinal canal can be a pinch or put pressure on a wide variety of nerves which tends to control different functions in the human body. As a result, the symptoms can vary from case to case. It is not uncommon to see the loss of bladder or bowel control, severe pain in inner thighs or back of legs, difficulties in performing regular tasks”, says lumbar spinal fusion surgeon in UK Mr Jwalant S Mehta.

What causes Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of Lumbar Stenosis. The gradual wear and tear of the spinal joints over time can weaken the spine and narrow the channel to cause stenosis. Since the lower back is most prone to wear and tear lumbar stenosis is more common among patients.

So only the elderly are prone to lumbar stenosis? No, it can happen to anyone in case of the following:

  • Spinal tumours
  • Injury or trauma to the spine.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain bone diseases
  • Spine surgery complications

Why is Lumbar Stenosis not Curable?

Spinal stenosis follows the same suit as arthritis which is caused by wear and tear of joints. There is not much anyone can do to stop the progression of wear and tear. And when spinal stenosis is caused by natural ageing, the narrowing of the spine cannot be stopped. But as said the symptoms can be mitigated and quality of life can be improved with a wide variety of treatment options.

Treatment for Lumbar Stenosis:

OTC medications to reduce the pain, anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, steroid injections, and physical therapy and exercises for lumbar stenosis are suggested as common treatment options to treat the symptoms of lumbar stenosis.

“In severe lumbar spinal stenosis cases surgical treatments to widen the space between vertebrae. Even fusion can also be performed to stabilize the lower back pain. We often perform these procedures to treat lumbar stenosis at our back pain clinic in UK “, says lumbar spinal fusion surgeon in UK Mr Jwalant S Mehta.