Are you suffering from lower back or neck pain? No matter how much pain you are in, it is always better to get diagnosed before your chronic pain turns unbearable. Attempting to wait out lower back and neck pain can lead to degenerative disease called lumbar spinal stenosis that makes performing daily tasks extremely difficult.
If you are tired of living in constant pain, contact Augusta Pain Center in Augusta and Aiken (opening soon) to schedule an appointment to consult with a physician. Take back control of your life find relief from your chronic pain at Augusta Pain Center.
What is lumbar spinal stenosis?
Trying to understand the symptoms and constant pain that you deal with on a daily basis is an exhausting struggle, so understanding some functions of the spine can be important to providing answers. The five vertebral areas in the lower back are known as the lumbar and nerves travel through the small opening of the spinal cord on the sides of the vertebrae which are known as foramina.
The main task of these nerves is to transmit sensations from the buttocks and lower extremities to the spinal cord and on to the brain. These nerves play a vital role in sending that allow us to move our toes, joints and legs. If someone is suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, it can either be their spinal canal or narrowed vertebral foramina. The narrowing of the parts is a severe condition which results in the compression of the spine which can be very painful.
Causes of lumbar spinal stenosis
Aging itself is one of the main reasons that someone could be suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, but it is not just an age-related disease. There are other factors that can lead to pain as a result of lumbar spinal stenosis, such as arthritis and tumors. Below, you can find more factors that can cause lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Degenerative arthritis – Wear and tear of load-bearing joints occur due to pressure exerted on it that can impact the movement of the joints.
- Degenerative disc disease – Loss of cartilage between the bones of joints and the formation of bone spurs
- Spondylosis – A degenerative disc disease that puts pressure on nerve tissue causing lumbar spinal stenosis
- Tumors – An abnormal growth of cells that can spread to the spine and numb the nerves or narrow the foramina, leading to lumbar spinal stenosis
- Infection – Bacterial or fungal that foes through the bloodstream and causes lumbar spinal stenosis
- Metabolic bone disorders – Occur due to deficiency of certain minerals like calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D can cause abnormal bone growth or mass that can be detrimental to the spine
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis
Symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis can vary depending on the factors. While reasons for contracting lumbar spinal stenosis are unique, some symptoms are classified as common and the severity of your symptoms is often dependent on the degree of degeneration or pressure. Below are a few of the common symptoms for those suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis.
- Lower back pain – Intense, constant pain that gets worse at night which causes loss of bowel or bladder control
- Burning sensation – This pain is a result of pressure on the spinal nerves. It begins near the buttocks then radiates down the leg
- Weakness – Once the pressure reaches its peak point, some people experience “foot drop” a feeling that your foot is slapping the ground while walking
- Numbness or tingling – Excess pressure on the nerve due to narrowed vertebrae
- Loss of sensation – People suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis discovered they feel less pain when they lean forward or are sitting
Treating lumbar spinal stenosis with the Vertiflex Superion implant procedure
There is a plethora of options available when it comes to treating your pain resulting from lumbar spinal stenosis. Our board certified interventional pain physician, Dr. Richard Epter, at Augusta Pain Center, can recommend an appropriate treatment plan and options for your condition.
One of the surgical options offered by Augusta Pain Center is the Vertiflex Superion implant. The Vertiflex Superion interspinous spacer is an FDA-approved system designed to relieve back pain by restoring the normal space between the vertebrae.
Since the Vertiflex Superion implant is a minimally invasive procedure, the Vertiflex procedure is a solution for patients with back pain that medications or injections have failed to help. It is also a reasonable option for those who may not be good candidates for back surgery. Unlike a spinal fusion, the Vertiflex system can restore the disc space on multiple level while still preserving the option for future surgery if necessary.
How does it work?
The Vertiflex implant works by spreading the compressed vertebrae apart and holding them in proper position. Because the Vertiflex procedure restores space between the vertebrae and where the nerves exit the spine, the pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves can be relieved.
The Vertiflex procedure won’t loosen the stability of the spine like a laminectomy can and unlike a spinal fusion, it preserves the range of motion in the lower back so there is no risk of adjacent segment disease. The entire procedure takes less than an hour, depending on the number of implants being inserted. Also, by moving tissue around rather than cutting it, patients experience a much easier healing process as compared to open spine surgery.
Is the Vertiflex procedure right for you?
Are you ready to take control of your painful lumbar spinal stenosis? Contact the pain management physicians at Augusta Pain Center in Aiken and Augusta and schedule an appointment to discuss your chronic pain symptoms. At Augusta Pain Center, we will discuss your options and determine the best plan of action to get your chronic pain under control. If conservative approaches like steroid injections or physical therapy haven’t relieved your pain, the doctors at Augusta Pain Center can discuss with you if the Vertiflex Superion implant is the best option for your chronic pain.