Spinal stenosis numbness is one of the possible symptoms of both central canal and foraminal narrowing. Numbness can be felt in both objective and subjective forms, providing some clue as to the real source of this frightening sensation.
It is very common for numbness to be experienced anywhere below the stenosis condition, along with weakness and possible tingling, as well. In some cases, numbness may be felt alternately with spinal stenosis pain, for a true double dose of misery. Numbness can be a sign of serious neurological dysfunction and should always be reported to your doctor immediately if the symptomatic expression worsens or changes location.
This narrative focuses on various manifestations of anatomical numbness that may occur in conjunction with spinal stenosis.
Numbness blamed on central canal stenosis is usually demonstrated in the buttocks, legs and feet. Patients may experience foot drop, regular tripping and falling or the inability to stand or walk for long. This can be true regardless of where the stenosis condition exists in the backbone.
Numbness in the legs and feet, along with associated weakness, is typical for advanced and extreme central canal narrowing, but almost unheard of from minor and even moderate stenosis concerns.
Numbness in the back, neck or upper appendages is far less common for central stenosis sufferers, unless they have been misdiagnosed and are actually suffering symptoms from some other structural or nonstructural causation. However, this is certainly not an absolute rule.
Complete, or nearly complete, neuroforaminal stenosis may elicit actual objective numbness and weakness, since these are the true symptoms of a pinched nerve. Variable nerve pain, along with subjective numbness, weakness and tingling is unlikely to be the result of a real compressive neuropathy.
These symptoms are far more common due to a regional oxygen deprivation syndrome, called ischemia. Partial nerve constriction may also provide a reasonable answer to explain these types of seemingly illogical expressions.
Additionally, weakness actually caused by foraminal stenosis will only affect a specific and limited area of the anatomy which is served by the compressed nerve structure. Symptoms found elsewhere can not be blamed for a single level compressive neuropathy condition logically. While this is a complete truth, I see this happen constantly, indicating either diagnostic ignorance or a financial motivation to place the patient in profitable foraminal stenosis treatment which overrides medical ethics and common sense.
Understanding the true nature of your diagnosed stenosis condition will help you to find you way successfully through the treatment sector. Ignoring the available information in favor of a sheepish approach is one of the biggest mistakes a patient can ever make. Remember, lambs are always led somewhere and that place is usually a slaughter.
Take the time to become active in your own care and learn all the facts about spinal stenosis ASAP. The benefits of knowledge are endless, while the punishments of ignorance can be eternally damning for mind and body.
If your spinal stenosis weakness, numbness or tingling has not improved despite targeted treatment, look for the reasons why. In many cases, this will expose a hole in the diagnostic theory large enough to fit your doctor’s entire bank account through it. Wow, that’s a big hole.
In other cases, it might just mean that your treatment regimen needs revision in favor of a different approach to care.