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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - What Happens

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 camera.gif 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 camera.gif, 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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