Your spine houses a bundle of nerves. It also houses essential muscles, bones — 26 to be exact — and fluids that make it possible for you to stand, sit, walk, and move. With all those moving parts, it’s easy to understand how even the slightest problem in your spine could cause issues throughout your body.
When lower back pain is shooting down your legs, come see Dr. Jay Shah at Samwell Institute for Pain Management. These symptoms are typical of spinal stenosis, and he specializes in relieving pain from conditions such as spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication
One of the most common back complications is spinal stenosis, which is when your spinal column narrows due to bone spurs or other reasons. If that narrowing causes your nerves to rub up against your discs or vertebrae, you’ll feel pain in your lumbar region or lower back.
Once your spinal stenosis advances, those nerves can become pinched between the structural parts of your spine. If your posture is off, and you tend to arch your back a lot, you can easily compress the nerves in your spine and send radiating pain to your legs. This is called neurogenic claudication, and it’s a symptom of the back condition.
You might experience sharp shooting pains, leg cramps, tingling and numbness, or pronounced weakness. Spinal stenosis coupled with neurogenic claudication can be excruciatingly painful, but there are several treatments that can help.
Treating spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication
First, Dr. Shah will give you a thorough exam and discuss your symptoms and medical history. Then, Dr. Shah will begin treatment with a conservative approach.
One common treatment for spinal stenosis is epidural steroid injections. This treatment delivers a steroid to the roots of the nerves that are being compressed. The result is a decrease in the swelling that’s causing your pain. First, Dr. Shah numbs the area. Then he uses X-ray imaging to guide the needle to the treatment location. Then he delivers the injection.
Other common conservative treatments include:
- Physical therapy, which can relieve spinal stenosis pain
- Losing weight, which can lessen the severity of your symptoms
- Medication, which can reduce inflammation and ease your pain
The VertiFlex Superion solution
If conservative treatments don’t work, but you’re not yet in need of an aggressive solution, Dr. Shah may discuss the VertiFlex Superion procedure. With this procedure, Dr. Shah makes a very small incision in your back and inserts a slender tube in the area of your spine that’s been compressed.
Dr. Shah then slides a spacer through the tube and places the spacer between your affected vertebrae. He then expands the spacer to open up room in your spine and create space for your nerves. Finally, he removes the tube. By opening up space and decompressing your spine, you can experience permanent pain relief.
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
If Dr. Shah determines that your condition calls for a slightly more assertive treatment, he may suggest minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD). First, Dr. Shah numbs the treatment area with a local anesthetic. Then he makes a tiny incision.
With the help of an imaging tool, Dr. Shah can easily see where your spine has narrowed and remove what’s intruding into your spine. Because the incision is very small and the treatment is very precise, the procedure is done on an outpatient basis, and you can go home the same day. The MILD technique is superior to traditional methods, because with the MILD technique you get:
- A smaller incision
- Instant relief from pain
- Less downtime
- No implant
- No general anesthesia
- Greater mobility
If you’ve been living with the pain of spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication, Dr. Shah can let you know if you’re a candidate for the VertiFlex Superion procedure or the MILD technique. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with SamWell Institute for Pain Management today.