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Lumbar spinal stenosis

Updated: 2023-03-01

The spaces inside of the bones of the lower spine, known as the lumbar spine, get too small.


Lumbar spinal stenosis can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. The most common cause is wear-and-tear changes in the spine from arthritis. Most people with the condition are older than 50.


Some people with lumbar spinal stenosis have no symptoms. But symptoms can come on slowly and get worse over time. They include pain or cramping in the legs when standing for a long time or when walking. Symptoms ease when bending forward or sitting down.


Treatments include medicines that relieve the swelling and pain, known as anti-inflammatories. Physical therapy might help. Other treatments are steroid shots and surgery to make more space in the spine.