Your spinal column is very complex. It contains 33 vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. Between your vertebrae are gel-filled discs. And all of this is held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which allow you to bend, flex, extend, and twist. Meanwhile, there are countless sensitive nerves that dart in and out of this structure.
As you can see, the complexity makes this area of the body vulnerable to injury and disease. One of the most common conditions that affects this region is spinal stenosis, which, simply put, is a narrowing of the spinal column. In this blog, Dinash Yanamadula, MD, of Princeton Pain & Spine Institute in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, explains the causes of spinal stenosis and what can be done to treat it.
Up to 500,000 Americans suffer from spinal stenosis. The prevalence is highest among people over age 50, because age-related degeneration plays a big role in the condition. But, it’s not the only cause. Spinal stenosis can occur for many reasons, including:
When any of these conditions cause the openings (foramen) between your vertebral facet joints to tighten or narrow, the nerves that run through those spaces can get pinched. This can result in pain, tingling, and numbness anywhere along the path of the compressed nerve.
Spinal stenosis can’t be cured in the traditional sense of the word, but in many cases Dr. Yanamadula can reverse the effects of it. For instance, if a bone spur is the culprit, he can surgically repair the problem by removing the portion that’s intruding into the foramen.
However, if osteoarthritis has robbed you of cartilage, and bone is rubbing against bone, or you have an incurable disease that interferes with your body’s ability to renew bone tissue, we can’t reverse that, but we can treat it and make your life much more comfortable.
No matter your situation, Dr. Yanamadula’s goal is to always use the least invasive treatment that will decrease your pain, avoid dependence on medications, increase your mobility, and protect your overall health. That’s why so many spinal stenosis sufferers seek Dr. Yanamadula’s expert care.
When you come see Dr. Yanamadula, he’ll first give you a thorough evaluation. Then he’ll guide you through your options, depending on what’s causing your spinal column to narrow and other factors, such as your age, weight, and other health conditions.
He usually starts with conservative therapies first. He may recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling. He may also recommend exercise and physical therapy.
He may also offer corticosteroid injections. This temporary solution may be able to relieve your pain long enough for Dr. Yanamadula to diagnose the root cause of your spinal stenosis and help you resolve the issue while you’re pain-free.
Dr. Yanamadula usually performs surgery as a last resort. But if it’s needed, he usually performs minimally invasive surgery. With minimally invasive surgery, the incisions are smaller and there’s less tissue damage.
If you have spinal stenosis and are looking for effective treatment and pain relief, book an appointment online or over the phone with Princeton Pain & Spine Institute today.