Stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal, usually in the lower back (lumbar) region. Stenosis produces a dull, aching pain in the lower back when standing or walking. The pain usually radiates down into the buttocks and thighs, and can be relieved by sitting, or by using a walker or a shopping cart in the grocery store. These symptoms usually slowly get worse over time, and people who suffer from spinal stenosis will notice a slow decrease in their ability to walk shorter and shorter distances.
Lumbar stenosis is a natural product of aging, and the wear and tear on the spine throughout our lives. As our bodies grow older, the ligaments and bones that make up the spine grow thicker and become stiffer. The spinal canal gradually narrows, and the spinal cord is slowly compressed. The lack of space interferes with the normal function of the spinal cord and the body becomes less able to function normally.
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