Symptoms of Cervical and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Published: Jun 6, 2011

Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

In most people the degenerative spinal process will be starting to narrow the spinal canal after the age of 50.  Once the spinal nerves start to compress symptoms of cervical stenosis, or lumbar stenosis symptoms will begin to cause havoc with your daily activities.

Not everyone who suffers from this condition will present with symptoms of spinal stenosis.  It is only when the spinal nerve or even the spinal cord itself becomes compressed that symptoms of spinal stenosis begin.

Whether you are showing symptoms of cervical stenosis or lumbar stenosis symptoms, they usually start slowly and then progress as time passes.  If you suddenly suffer from acute pain, you may not be showing symptoms of spinal stenosis and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis / Lumbar Stenosis Symptoms

Listed below are some of the more common symptoms of spinal stenosis that patients will feel.

Pain and cramping in the legs
While standing or walking for an extended period of time, lumbar stenosis symptoms will usually present as either pain or cramping in the lower extremities.  Most sufferers find that bending forward or sitting down will alleviate the pain and cramping.  If you are out shopping and feel a lumbar stenosis symptom such as this, try to lean forward over your shopping cart to see if some of the pain recedes.  If this does not work, find a bench and sit down for a while to rest.

Neck and/or should pain
Symptoms of cervical stenosis usually begin as a painful feeling in your neck or shoulders.  As your symptoms progress you may begin to feel this pain radiate down your arms and into your hands.

Weakness and/or numbness in the lower extremities
This is one of the more uncommon symptoms of cervical stenosis.  If your cervical spinal cord is compressed it can make it difficult for you to walk.  This also usually affects your equilibrium (sense of balance) which results in clumsiness and even a tendency to fall over.

Radiating back and hip pain
Compressed nerves in the lower back often result in pain that begins in your hips or buttocks and continues down the neuropath in your leg causing radiating pain.  The pain is often at its height when in a sitting position and will usually only affect one side of the body.

Cauda Equina Syndrome; Seek Immediate Medical Attention.

In severe cases of nerve compression you may experience a loss of bladder or bowel function.  If you lose control of either of these functions you need to seek immediate medical attention.  The chance of a full recovery from this condition depends on how long the nerve is compressed.  The best chances of recovery are within the first 48 hours from the onset of cauda equina syndrome.

Please visit our spinal stenosis treatment page if you are looking for information on how to treat spinal stenosis.  You can use the menu on the left or else click this \\link.//