Specialty Care for Spinal Stenosis at UPMC
The spinal cord runs down the length of your spinal column, through an area called a canal. Spinal stenosis occurs when this canal and nerve passageways in the spine become narrowed. If these openings become narrow, it can put pressure on the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Spinal stenosis mainly occurs in adults older than 50.
Orthopedic specialists at UPMC focus on restoring range of motion, with less pain and discomfort, through an array of noninvasive therapies, treatments and minimally invasive procedures.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of spinal stenosis develop gradually over a period of many years. Some people have few or no symptoms of spinal stenosis in the beginning stages.
As the problem gets worse, spinal stenosis symptoms may include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in your arms and legs
As the symptoms of spinal stenosis can be very similar to those of other spinal conditions, speak with an spine doctor at UPMC Susquehanna for the right diagnosis.
Spinal Stenosis Causes
The most common causes of spinal stenosis are degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. Spinal stenosis occurs when the discs in your spine wear down from age. As these spinal discs degenerate, they start to rub together, resulting in spinal arthritis. As the spinal joints are worn down, the body reacts by producing an abnormal amount of bone spurs. Over time, these bony calcifications build up, shrinking the spinal nerve passageways and putting pressure on spinal nerves.
Risk factors for spinal stenosis include conditions like scoliosis and spinal injuries.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment at UPMC
Treatment for spinal stenosis consists of managing the symptoms, relieving spinal cord compression and protecting the spine from future problems.
At UPMC, experienced spine providers offer a wide range of solutions for spinal stenosis in Williamsport, Muncy, and Wellsboro, PA.
Treatment for spinal stenosis may vary, depending on the severity of your condition, but may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen
- Epidural spinal injection
- Oral corticosteroid medications
- Physical therapy
- Surgery if other treatments aren’t successful
Your provider will talk with you about ways to prevent or limit wear and tear on your spine. These include:
- Good posture
- Proper body mechanics
- Nutritious diet
- Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles
Through noninvasive therapies and minimally invasive surgery, UPMC Orthopedics provides advanced care treat spinal stenosis in Williamsport, Wellsboro and Muncy, PA.