Spinal Canal Stenosis Symptoms

Spinal Canal Stenosis Symptoms

Pain is a common symptom of spinal stenosis and the location of the pain will depend on whether the stenosis is present in the upper or lower portions of the spine. 95% of patients with spinal canal stenosis experience sciatica while 70% complain of sensory changes in their lower limbs. Some of the other symptoms of spinal stenosis include:

  • Pain that radiates down the leg (sciatica)
  • Cramping or general pain in either the arms or legs
  • Foot drop – in which painful leg weakness causes the affected foot to “slap” on the ground
  • Numbness and weakness in the affected limbs
  • Pain that is more severe when upright and reduces while sitting


Some of the other causes of spinal stenosis include:

  • Conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that affect the bones
  • A small spinal canal
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine to one side)
  • Spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra slips forward on another)
  • Injuries that dislocate the spine

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