Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
Spinal stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing around the spinal cord or nerve roots. This narrowing can cause pinching of the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling.
The pain with spinal stenosis depends on where the pinched nerve is located. If it is located in the cervical area, pain, tingling, or numbness can occur in the neck or arm. If the pinched nerve is in the lumbar spine, you may feel pain or cramping in your legs.
The most common way to diagnose spinal stenosis is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If you are unable to have an MRI scan, a myelogram or CT scan can be ordered instead.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may be recommended by your physician. Additional prescription-strength medications can also be used to treat the damaged nerves. These medications can be used in combination with physical therapy or a trial of epidural steroid injections to the affected area.
If all of the previous treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be an option. The team of specialist at the Duke Spine Center will work with you to improve your symptoms and get you back on your feet.