Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing and compression of spinal cord or nerve branches. Compression can occur at any level of the spine, but most commonly occurs in the low back or neck.

Compression of the nerve roots and spinal cord can cause pain and decreased blood supply which can damage the nerves. When nerves are damaged, they lose the ability to function properly and can produce symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis typically relate to the areas supplied by the affected nerve root or level of the spinal cord. Compression in the neck generally will affect the upper back, neck, shoulders, and arms. Compression in the lower back will affect the back, buttock, hip, and legs. 

Our pain management experts at Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster will help eliminate or minimize your neck and back pain so you can get back to the life you enjoy as soon as possible.


  • Neck pain
  • Weakness or loss of function, numbness, or tingling of upper extremities
  • Back pain 
  • Leg pain or weakness- usually affecting both legs, though one may be more affected than the other
  • Numbness or tingling in lower extremities
  • Severe cases may experience loss of bowel or bladder function, erectile dysfunction, or inability to walk


  • Disc abnormalities or herniations due to trauma or age 
  • Lesions such as tumors or cysts
  • Conditions which affect bones and surrounding structures such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Congenital factors

Risk Factors

  • Excess weight
  • Family history and genetics


  • Physical examination of the neck or back
  • MRI or CT scan to evaluate for nerve or spinal cord compression 
  • Electromyography nerve conduction testing to detect nerve damage secondary to spinal stenosis
  • X-ray to show arthritis or related bone conditions

Treatment Options

  • Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory and other medications for pain relief
  • Corticosteroid injections for pain relief
  • Physical therapy
  • Severe cases that include neurological deficits or acute compression of the spinal cord may require surgical treatment