Lumbar Canal Stenosis

What is Lumbar Canal Stenosis?

The term “stenosis” comes from a greek word meaning “choking”, and is usually the result of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis or degenerative spondylolisthesis. Lumbar Canal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal which in turn compresses the spinal cord and nerves of the lumbar vertebra. Narrowing of the spinal canal usually occurs because of the changes associated with aging which decreases the size of the canal including the movement of one of the vertebrae out of alignment. Some distortion of the spinal canal will occur in virtually every person as they age, however, the severity of the symptoms will depend on the size of a person’s spinal canal and the intrusion on the nerves. The rate of decline varies greatly from person to person, and not everyone would sense weakness or pain.

The cause of it may be a number of processes that decrease the amount of space in the spinal canal available for the nerves. Degenerative causes are the most common, but stenosis mostly occurs in individuals who are born with a spinal canal smaller than normal or have rare conditions such as tumors and metabolic conditions.


Symptoms of this disorder usually worsen when walking or standing and might decrease while lying down, sitting, or leaning forward. Its symptoms may also be associated with the compression of the microvascular structures carrying blood flow to the nerve roots. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Bouts of low back or neck pain.
  • Mild discomfort in the lower back.
  • Leg pain and weakness without having any back pain.
  • Numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower body.


Some of the most probable causes of the disease include:

  • Overgrowth of the bones.
  • Spinal injuries.
  • Tumors.
  • Herniated disks.
  • Thick ligaments.



The prime risk factors include: 

  • Weakness.
  • Numbness.
  • Problems of balance.
  • Paralysis.


To prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of these things:

  • Exercising on a daily basis.
  • Taking a healthy diet.
  • Avoiding stress.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, the diagnosis of this disease is based on clinical findings and medical history. 


How is it treatment?

Since the aging of spine is a natural and irreversible process, nonoperative treatment options aim at removing pressure from the nerves to allow them to function normally.


  • Physical therapy

    It can help relieve pressure from the nerves, reducing the symptoms of pain and weakness.

  • Analgesics

    They are the pain relieving medicines that might be prescribed to decrease pain and increase activity level. These medicines might be taken as pills, patches, ointment, or injections.

  • Pain therapy injections

    They might also help reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerve roots. These injections are also called nerve blocks. In extreme conditions, surgery is also considered.

  • Lumbar Laminectomy

    If symptoms do not subside even after a long medical treatment, surgical options are available. Lumbar Laminectomy, also called Lumbar Decompression surgery, is typically performed to alleviate pain from lumbar spinal stenosis, and has a high success rate.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately see a doctor, if you continue to experience persistent pain, weakness or numbness in your back or legs. All your symptoms would be treated just right with the medical and clinical help available at Medanta. 

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