You feel pain relief while leaning forward, as if you’re trolling a shopping cart in a shopping complex- This might be Spinal Stenosis!! This sign is known as “Shopping cart sign”. What exactly is Spinal Stenosis…..
Vertebral column is a chain of the vertebral bodies which are hollow on posterior side and these all together make a canal. This is known as spinal canal, a canal where spinal cord resides. If there is narrowing of the canal due to any reason, that is known as Spinal Stenosis. There might be many different reasons for the spinal stenosis and spinal stenosis might give different types of symptoms according to the pressure due to stenosis and location of the spinal cord where pressure is being exerted. Symptoms of spinal canal stenosis might include pain, numbness, paraesthesia and even loss of motor control.
Neural Canal Stenosis can occur at any level but cervical and lumbar regions are more prone for such condition. When it happens in the cervical region this is more severe and problematic because it will effect the complete lower spinal cord. Lets first discuss the causes of the spinal stenosis one by one-
Aging: The main problem of the spine is aging- whether this is degenerative disc disease or canal stenosis, aging is always involved. Older age is the age of Vata , Vata brings dryness and stiffness and because of this following conditions might appear which cause the canal stenosis-
- Thickening of the ligaments, which happens due to increased dryness in the body. Specially when ligament related to canal- Ligament Flavum thickens.
- Breaking up of the facet joints between the vertebral bodies.
- Osteoporosis leading to the compression of the spinal sack of nerves.
Arthritis of the Spine: This might be any kind of arthritis- Osteoarthritis as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause stiffening of the spine which can result in the pressure on the canal and canal stenosis.
Trauma of the spine: Direct injury to the spine due to accidents and injuries can dislocate the spinal canal and result into the canal stenosis.
Besides above condition this might be associated with-
- Slipped Disc
- Herniated Disc
- PIVD- Protrusion of Intervertebral Disc
- Degenerative Disc Disorder etc. can cause the spinal stenosis.
Sign Symptoms of Spinal Canal Stenosis:
- Discomfort in standing straight is most common sign of the spinal stenosis which occurs in 94% patients.
- 63% of all the patients feel numbness
- Among all only 43% patients feel weakness in the effected regions
- 78% of patients feel discomfort below and above the knee joint.
- Pain in lower extremity-weakness-numbness involving the perineum and buttocks and this can lead to the dysfunction of the bladder and bowel- this shows that spinal stenosis has lead you to Cauda Equina Syndrome.
These are the basic signs and symptoms along with the “shopping cart” syndrome discussed above. There might be other signs and symptoms of the primary diseases- which are causing the Spinal Stenosis.
Ayurveda has promising results in all this and we have a lot of patients of Canal Stenosis associated with Slipped Disc and that gives us dare to say that we can avoid the surgery in such cases.