NJ Spine and Pain Center PC
Uday Bhatt, MD
Interventional Pain Medicine located in Hamilton Square, NJ & Flemington, NJ
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis reduces the space around your spinal cord and nerves. If you experience pain or tingling that radiates from your spine, double board-certified pain specialist Uday Bhatt, MD, provides conservative and effective spinal stenosis treatment at NJ Spine and Pain Center PC in Hamilton Square, Monroe, and Flemington, New Jersey. To speak with Dr. Bhatt about your condition, book an appointment by phone or online today.
Spinal Stenosis Q & A
What is spinal stenosis?
The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae (bones) extending from the neck to the lower back. These bones form a spinal column that protects the delicate spinal cord. When the spinal canal begins to narrow, it’s referred to as spinal stenosis. There are two main types of spinal stenosis: cervical and lumbar. Lumbar spinal stenosis is the most common type of spinal stenosis. Cervical spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal column in the neck, while lumbar spinal stenosis refers to narrowing in the lower back.
What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?
Narrowing of the spinal column typically occurs gradually and worsens over time. Spinal stenosis symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the location of the affected area. Symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulties walking and balancing
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction
Depending on which area of your spinal column is narrowing, you can experience symptoms that travel to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, or feet. Cervical spinal stenosis begins in the neck and radiates down the arms, hands, and legs. Lumbar spinal stenosis usually begins with back pain that extends to the legs and feet. In severe cases, spinal stenosis can lead to changes in bowel and/or bladder functions.
What causes spinal stenosis?
In most cases, age-related degenerative changes to the spine are the biggest contributor to spinal stenosis. Most patients diagnosed with spinal stenosis are over the age of 50. With age, issues like osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease become more common.
Spinal stenosis isn’t limited to patients over 50. There are a number of conditions that can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal regardless of age. These conditions include:
- Injuries to the spine
- Bone spurs
- Herniated discs
- Thickened ligaments
Treatment for spinal stenosis depends on the location of your condition. There are a number of ways to effectively address spinal stenosis without the risks of invasive surgery.
How is spinal stenosis treated?
To begin treatment, Dr. Bhatt has to evaluate and diagnose your condition. First, Dr. Bhatt performs a physical exam and discusses your symptoms and medical history. He then performs an imaging test, like an X-ray or MRI, to check for abnormalities in your spine.
In many cases, symptoms of spinal stenosis can be addressed with comprehensive treatment that combines pain management, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. Treatment for your condition may include:
- Weight management
- Posture management
- Pain relievers
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Steroid injections
- Strengthening exercises
- Flexibility exercises
Dr. Bhatt takes a conservative approach to spinal stenosis treatment. Maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, and improving your posture can help stabilize and protect your spine. If your condition is severe or shows no improvement, he also provides surgical treatment. The goal of surgical spinal stenosis treatment is to relieve the pressure on the spine and increase the space within the spinal canal.
To find out which treatment is best for you, call the office or book an appointment online.