Back Pain Home > Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis develops when one to three areas of the spine become narrower. Possible symptoms include pain or numbness in the legs. Although the condition is most common in men and women over 50 years of age, it can occur in younger people who have a congenital narrowing of the spinal canal or who suffer an injury to the spine.

What Is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of spaces in the lumbar region of the spine that results in pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.
 
Lumbar spinal stenosis usually involves the narrowing of one to three areas of the spine:
 
  • The canal in the center of the column of bones (the vertebral or spinal column) through which the spinal cord and nerve roots run
  • The canals at the base or roots of nerves branching out from the spinal cord
  • The openings between vertebrae (bones of the spine) through which nerves leave the spine and go to other parts of the body.
 
The narrowing may involve a small or large area of the lumbar spine.
 

Symptoms

Pressure on the lower part of the spinal cord or on nerve roots branching out from that area may cause symptoms such as pain or numbness in the legs.
 

Who Gets Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Lumbar spinal stenosis is most common in men and women over 50 years of age. However, it may occur in younger people who are born with a narrowing of the spinal canal or who suffer an injury to the spine.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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