What is lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal or foraminal canal (lateral recess) in the lower back (see picture below), known as the lumbar area. This narrowing occurs when the growth of bone, or tissue, or both reduces the size of the openings through which the spinal cord or nerve(s) travel. This narrowing can squeeze and irritate the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and/or it can squeeze and irritate the spinal cord itself.
What causes lumbar spinal stenosis?
Lumbar spinal stenosis is most often caused by changes in the shape and size of the spinal and /or foraminal canal as people age by, for example; 1) the thickening of connective tissues called ligaments, 2) degenerative joint disease, called osteoarthritis, leading to the growth of bone spurs that push on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, 3) discs between the bones may be pushed into the spinal and/or foraminal canal. Any of these conditions or any combination of these conditions can lead to problems that narrow the space in the spinal and/or foraminal canal(s).....
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