Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the abnormal narrowing of the spinal column, which is where the spinal cord runs. Stenosis usually occurs due to lesions or deposits inside the column. These lesions may affect any part of the spine, but they most commonly occur in the lower back and neck areas. Spinal stenosis can exert pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves.
The two types of spinal stenosis are lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis. Lumbar spinal stenosis is more common, but cervical spinal stenosis causes more danger as it involves compression of the spinal cord.
Lumbar stenosis is associated with the compression of the spinal nerve roots in the lower back area, which causes symptoms linked to sciatica, such as tingling, weakness, or numbness radiating from the lower back and into the buttocks and legs (particularly when engaging in physical activity).
Cervical spinal stenosis is even more dangerous, as it compresses the spinal cord and leads to a series of serious symptoms, such as major weakness in the body and possibly paralysis. Spinal stenosis can develop as a result of advancing age, degenerative disc disease, and developmental problems in the spine before birth, and a number of other diseases, such as arthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis and lordosis (sway back), obesity, genetics, or poor body posture.