This condition affects the thoracic spine between the neck and the lower back. It is a narrowing of the spinal canal that results from degeneration of bones in the spine, disc herniation, or thickening of the tissues that surround the spinal cord.
Spinal stenosis is typically caused by age and overuse, which can lead to degeneration of the spine’s discs, bones and joints. Vertebrae may slip out of their normal alignment and rub harmfully against each other. Damage from the rubbing causes the formation of bony growths called bone spurs. Bone spurs may push into the spinal canal or foramen space. Tissues around the spinal cord may thicken and push into the spinal canal, creating pressure against the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Symptoms include pain in the back and legs, problems with balance and coordination, and loss of bowel or bladder function. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, epidural steroid injections, and physical therapy. If non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be required to remove the obstruction and repair the spine.
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