PT Tip of the Month

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (LSS)

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a condition where there is narrowing of an area(s) in the spine usually due to bony changes to the lumbar facet joints or enlargement of one of the ligaments in the spine called the Ligamentum flavum. Other causes can be due to a disc herniation or spinal instability. The two most common areas to find stenotic changes are in the neck and low back. These narrowed areas can put pressure on the spinal cord that is housed there, and as a result, the spinal nerves can become compressed. Depending on which spinal nerves are compressed, LSS can result in pain, numbness, weakness, loss of coordination, or decreased sensation among your extremities, neck, back, or shoulders. Others experience cramping in the legs after standing or walking for long periods of time, and experience more relief with bending forward at the hips and low back or sitting down. These positions create space in the low back, taking pressure off of the area that is affected. More severe symptoms include changes in bowel and bladder function. If these last two symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor right away! [more...]

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