Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal caused by growth of bone and soft tissue on the vertebrae. The narrowing can pinch the nerves in the spinal column, and the nerve roots that exit through the nerve root canals. The condition is commonly caused by arthritis in the spine, and can take years to develop. A sudden injury from over-extension of the neck, overexertion, or whiplash from a motor vehicle accident, can cause worsening of a patient’s symptoms.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis depends on the location and severity of the diseased area of the spine, and can include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of function. Severe spinal stenosis can cause myelopathy, a loss of coordination and a heavy feeling in the affected limbs.