Spinal Stenosis

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

As with many spinal conditions, the symptoms of spinal stenosis can seem very similar to other possible diagnoses. Additionally, symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, especially because stenosis can occur in different areas and structures of the spine. In order to accurately reach a diagnosis, it is important to consult a physician who can use all of the tools in their toolbox to fully assess the source of your pain and discomfort. That being said, if you experience any of the symptoms below, you may be dealing with spinal stenosis.

If you think you are experiencing any symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, please contact the Advanced Spine Center today. Dr. Jason E. Lowenstein is fully versed in minimally invasive treatments for spinal stenosis, and adopts an individualized, patient-centered approach to designing treatment plans. Dr. Lowenstein is here to help you find relief from your pain and discomfort, and will get you back to participating in your daily life

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Just as there are many symptoms of spinal stenosis, there are nearly as many, if not more, causes of the condition. Most cases, however, occur due to age and degeneration of the spine over years of activity and use. We use our backs in practically all of our daily activities. Walking, lifting, twisting, sitting up, and laying down all put strain on our spine. Frequent use, coupled with the drying out of our spinal discs, can wear down the spine, causing spinal components to move closer together. Conditions associated with older age, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can also accelerate this degeneration as well.

Chronic strain on the back is another major cause of spinal stenosis. Although we all use our back every day, some individuals use it even more strenuously. Individuals who are especially at risk for developing spinal stenosis include those who work in labor intensive jobs such as nursing, construction, or athletics. These individuals place chronic strain on their spine, which can accelerate spinal degeneration and the development of stenosis.

Other causes of stenosis can include: spinal tumors, herniated discs, thickened ligaments, and overgrown bones (or bone spurs).

Spinal Stenosis Treatment Options

Pain Management

Pain management is almost always a component of dealing with back pain. Oral pain medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription strength, can help many deal with pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids, epidural injections, and steroidal injections can also be used.

Laminectomy or Laminotomy

The lamina is a thin bony layer on the vertebrae that covers the posterior surface of the spinal cord. Often with central stenosis, removal of this structure is needed to decompress the spinal cord. A laminotomy removes a portion, whereas a laminectomy removes the whole. Read more...


If one is dealing with foraminal stenosis, then a foraminotomy may be required. This minimally invasive surgical procedure targets the narrowed foramina, and involves removal of bony material to increase the size of the foramina. This can relieve pressure and reduce pain. Read more...

Spinal Fusion Surgery

A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that restores stability to the spine. With conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated or bony tissues are often removed from the spine to release pressure. It then becomes necessary to reinforce the spine through mechanical fusion. Read more...