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Spinal Stenosis

HomeSpinal Stenosis › Lumbar Stenosis Causes

Lumbar Stenosis

Causes of Lumbar Stenosis

The spine is a column of bones piled on each other. Running along the center of the spine is a space known as the spinal canal. This is where the spinal cord is housed. When the space within the spinal canal becomes narrow placing pressure on the spinal cord, a condition known as spinal stenosis occurs. When this condition occurs in the lower back area i.e. the lumbar region, it is known as lumbar stenosis.

Many people believe that lumbar stenosis is an age related disease. Although majority of the patients diagnosed with the condition are elderly, it still occurs in younger people and is caused by a variety of factors. The most common cause of lumbar stenosis is degenerative arthritis. Arthritis can occur in any of the body's joints and is considered a part of the ageing process. However, when it occurs in the lumbar region the result is lumbar stenosis. Arthritis in the lumbar region causes a loss in intervertebral cartilage, the development of bone spurs, abnormal growth of ligaments and degenerative disc disorder. The spinal canal in the lumbar region narrows as a result of the effects of arthritis resulting in increased pressure on the spine.

Lumbar stenosis can also occur as a result of the narrowing
of foramen in the lumbar vertebrae.

The foramens are the holes in the vertebrae through which nerves leave the spinal cord. Narrowing of the foramen can occur as a result of spinal tumors or infections in the lumbar region. Genetic disorders that result in the abnormal formation of bones can result in the formation of small foramen or smaller vertebrae.

The occurrence of herniated vertebral discs can also result in lumbar stenosis if the herniated discs occur within the lumbar region. In some cases a vertebrae may slip into another and therefore cause pressure to the spinal cord. This condition is known as spondylolisthesis.

Lumbar stenosis is irreversible no matter what the cause. It is therefore advisable to prevent the onset of the condition rather than deal with it when it develops. Treatments are often symptomatic and surgery is only recommended as a last resort.

Lumbar Stenosis Causes
Causes of Lumbar Stenosis
Article published December 30th, 2010
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