What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the bones that make up the spinal canals or the areas through which the spinal cord and spinal nerves pass. This narrowing can pressurize your spinal cord and the nerves. Spinal Stenosis occurs in the lower back and neck. It is a very common cause of the pain in the lower back. As we grow older, our spines change. The normal wear-and-tear due to aging leads to narrowing of the spinal canal.


While some have no symptoms or signs, Spinal Stenosis can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems associated with bladder and bowel function in the rest. Symptoms may differ, depending on the position of the stenosis:


Narrowing of the nerves in the upper spine can cause weakness, numbness, or tingling effect in a foot, leg, hand or arm. In severe cases, nerves to the bladder or bowel may be affected, leading to incontinence.

Lower back

Compressed nerves in your lower spine can cause pain or cramping in your legs when you stand for a long period of time or when you walk. The discomfort usually eases when you bend forward or sit down.


Causes that might lead to Spinal Stenosis include:

  • Overgrowth of bone
  • Herniated disks
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Tumours
  • Spinal injuries
  • Genetic causes


The diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis begins with a complete history and physical examination. For many people, evidence of Spinal Stenosis will be on X-rays, but will not have any signs or symptoms.


Treatments vary depending on the location and severity of the pain. In addition to the medications prescribed and surgeries, there are various Physical Therapy exercises advised in order to get rid of this pain. At Optimum Rehab, we provide effective physical therapy for Spinal Stenosis at NYC physical therapy offices, not only to combat your pain and illness but also to improve your total health and well-being.