Do you always experience cramping on your legs whether you are awake, moving, or sleeping? Be careful! It could be a symptom of something more serious.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Neurogenic intermittent claudication or leg pain or commonly known as cramping is also one of the common symptoms of spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis may also be caused by osteoarthritis. After a decade of friction, some of the cartilages in the body break down which causes the bones to rub with each other. The body cells repair the damage by stimulating growth in the spurs (extra bone) which is located in the spinal canal. The spinal canal is the part that presses the nerves of the spinal cord.
Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
When a person ages, the spinal vertebrae of the body breaks down that causes it to shrink. The thick ligament inside the spinal canal folds at the top that causes nerve pressure which results into spinal stenosis.
Other symptoms of spinal stenosis are hip, leg, and shoulder pain or non-stop pain at the back. You can check yourself out if you have the tendency to have neurogenic intermittent claudication that might lead to spinal stenosis. While standing up, bend forward (this will an enough space in the spinal canal), if the leg pain suddenly disappears and you feel relieve, you might have spinal stenosis.
Preventing Spinal Stenosis
The good news is you can fight the risk of having spinal stenosis by doing the following recommendations.
- Frequent exercise should be done to maintain the strength and flexibility of the bones which includes the spinal cord. A combination of cycling and walking is good especially of there is an enough weight training and stretching.
- Aside from aerobic activities, abdominal exercise like crunching should also be done. Strong abdominal muscle maintains the tilt in the pelvis that fills up the space in the spinal canal.
- Refrain from smoking for it decreases the amount of oxygen in the spinal cord which increases the risk of nerve pain.
- Drink milk or eat rich in calcium. Foods which are rich in calcium make bones stronger.
- Engage in chiropractic care. Regular muscle and nerve adjustment is essential in maintaining the function and mobility of certain parts of the body, such as back, leg, and neck, and in improving the overall health and wellness of an individual.
As a primary treatment for spinal stenosis, doctors usually do surgery to take away the bone or soft tissue which causes friction in the nerves. But in most cases, non-surgical methods can also be done.