Lumbar spinal stenosis usually starts gradually and gets worse over a long period of time. Narrowing of the spinal canal can squeeze and irritate the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord Narrowing of the spinal canal can squeeze and irritate the nerve roots that branch out from the spinal cord. This is what causes pain and other symptoms.
Stenosis occurs most often in the lower back (lumbar) area. When it occurs in the neck, it is called cervical spinal stenosis.
The course of spinal stenosis varies—it may stay the same, get better or get worse.
Severe disability isn't common. But when symptoms are very bad, they can keep you from doing your normal daily activities. They can have a big effect your quality of life. If symptoms are still severe after you have tried other treatment for a while, surgery may be considered.
Surgery may be too risky for some older adults who have other serious health problems.
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