Spinal Stenosis is caused by a narrowing of either the Spinal Canal or the Foramen (the opening through which the nerve roots exit the spinal canal). The narrowing of these structures produces pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. When the spinal cord or the nerve roots are compressed, a wide range of symptoms can occur.
The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Sciatic nerve pain.
- Pain in the neck and shoulders.
- Loss of balance.
- Loss of bowel or bladder function.
Epidural steroid injections, while invasive, are still considered to be conservative treatments. During these injections your doctor will inject corticosteroid medications into the spinal fluid around your spinal cord and nerve roots. These injections help to suppress inflammation of the nerves. When the nerves are no longer inflammed, patients usually experience a decrease in the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Due to the possibilities of side effects that corticosteroids may produce, you must ask your doctor if this treatment is right for you.