Can a Herniated Disc Cause Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a painful condition that describes an abnormal narrowing of your spinal canal, the structure that protects your spinal cord. As your spine shrinks, it can result in chronic pain and disabilities that affect your quality of life.

To relieve persistent pain associated with spinal stenosis, Jose De La Torre, MD, and our team at New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine offer several interventional pain therapies. Dr. De La Torre also uses in-office diagnostics to uncover the root cause of your spinal stenosis, so he can customize a treatment plan to reduce your risk for additional pain and complications.

Understanding spinal stenosis and its causes

Spinal stenosis is classified into two categories — primary and acquired — based on the underlying cause of the narrowing.

Primary spinal stenosis

Primary spinal stenosis describes a congenital abnormal narrowing of your spine. This type of spinal stenosis is relatively common, but you may not realize you have the condition until you reach adulthood and begin experiencing back pain and other symptoms.

Acquired spinal stenosis

Acquired spinal stenosis describes spinal narrowing that occurs because of an underlying condition, such as degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc.

In your spine are rubbery discs that protect your vertebra by absorbing the shocks of your movements and keep the spinal joints from rubbing together. Too much pressure on these discs can push them outward and cause the gel-like center to leak out. The disc’s center can press on surrounding nerves, causing pain and other symptoms.

Acquired spinal stenosis may also be the result of trauma to your spine, such as from a fall or an auto accident.

Signs you might have spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis can cause several types of symptoms, depending on where the narrowing occurs in your spine. Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:

You can experience these symptoms in nearly any part of your body, especially your back, legs, neck, and buttocks.

Interestingly, these symptoms can also point to an underlying herniated disc, a common cause of spinal stenosis.

To accurately confirm your diagnosis, Dr. De La Torre and our team will review your symptoms and use imaging tests like X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the source of your pain.

Nonsurgical solutions for spinal stenosis and herniated disc pain

Interventional pain treatments are similar for both herniated discs and spinal stenosis. We use a combination of pain-relieving medications, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy to stretch your spine and lessen inflammation.

If oral medications aren’t enough to relieve your back pain and other symptoms, you may benefit from cortisone injections to reduce inflammation. We also offer epidural steroid injections, which deliver anesthetic medications directly to the epidural space within your spinal canal.

When your pain from a herniated disc and spinal stenosis is severe and debilitating, you may need surgery to widen your spinal canal or to remove damaged portions of a disc. We offer comprehensive post-surgical care to keep you pain-free and ensure you heal fully to prevent new complications.

Don’t ignore warning signs of spinal stenosis. Call New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, or book an appointment online today.

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