Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces between the vertebrae narrow, placing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This contraction can cause pain in the neck and back, and pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs, though some people experience few or no symptoms. Spinal stenosis is typically associated with aging, although it can impact younger people as well. Timely care can reduce the invasiveness of treatment, as well as the risk of long-term damage.
Spinal stenosis is most common in people over 50. With general wear and tear, the bones begin to weaken and thin. As we age, we repeatedly put stress on the skeleton through everyday activity, accidents, and injuries. In some cases, this stress damages the spine over time. Many people with spinal stenosis also have osteoarthritis of the spine. Everyone, but older adults especially, should seek medical attention if they experience unexplained pain or numbness.
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