Canal Stenosis is a spinal condition that can affect one or more spinal nerve roots. It is a variation of spinal stenosis that solely affects the central vertebral canal. The central vertebral canal is known to secure the spinal column and when stenosis occurs, the canal begins to narrow due to excess bone growth from aging. This condition is not uncommon amongst men and women over the age of 50. However, younger individuals may inherit this condition if they were born with a narrow spinal canal. Canal Stenosis is often associated with degenerative disc disease in more mature patients.
Causes of Canal Stenosis
There are a variety of causes of canal stenosis, and a number of factors can play a role in spinal degenerative conditions. As we age, our bodies begin to develop degenerative conditions in our spines; such as osteoarthritis, bone spurs and herniated/bulging discs. Other causes of canal stenosis include tumors of the spine, traumatic spinal injuries, diseases and congenital conditions.
Symptoms of Canal Stenosis
Symptoms of Canal Stenosis can range from mild to severe and may include:
• Pain in neck, upper back or lower back
• Numbness, weakness, cramping or pain in arms or legs
• Burning sensations
• Tingling and “pins and needles” feelings in the arms or legs
Treatment of Canal Stenosis
To first asses the patient’s condition, the physician will first review the medical history and employ physical examinations for the patient. Imaging testing will also be helpful to confirm the diagnosis, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT-scans. Care for patients with canal stenosis usually consists of conservative treatment and minimally invasive options, including physical therapy, pain medications, hot/cold therapy, rest and epidural and steroidal injections. In severe cases, surgical interventions may be recommended.