Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. Some patients are born with this narrowing, though osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and bone spurs are more common causes. Most cases of spinal stenosis develop from wear and tear on the spine due to aging. Arthritic changes, disc bulges, or spondylolisthesis can individually, or collaboratively, cause lumbar spinal stenosis.
Lumbar spinal stenosis causes symptoms in the low back and legs. Leg heaviness, difficulty walking, or trouble standing for long periods of time are the predominant symptoms, usually accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs. In severe cases you can experience bladder and bowel problems, at which point you should seek immediate medical care.
Generally, patients with lumbar spinal stenosis are comfortable sitting or leaning forward, but standing upright or walking increases compression of the spinal canal and can cause the legs to feel heavy and weak.