The narrowing of the spinal canal itself does not usually cause any spinal stenosis symptoms. It is when inflammation of the nerves occurs at the level of increased pressure that patients begin to experience problems.
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis may feel pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs, calves or buttocks. In the lumbar spine, symptoms often increase when walking short distances and decrease when the patient sits, bends forward or lies down. This is the reason why patients with spinal stenosis also feel relief when they lean over a shopping trolley, bicycle or walking frame.
In some patients, the pain starts in the legs and moves upward to the buttocks; in other patients, the pain begins higher in the body and moves downward. The pain may radiate like sciatica or may be a cramping pain. In severe cases, the pain can be constant.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.
EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.