Spinal stenosis diagnosis is a relatively accurate science, since the physical changes associated with the condition are easily identifiable using spinal CT scan and MRI testing. However, that being said, the diagnostic process is where so many patients get put on the wrong path to finding back pain relief, since a great number of stenosis conditions fall into the normal and asymptomatic range, but are still mistakenly blamed for sourcing the present symptomatic complaint. This is why patients who are diagnosed with minor to moderate stenosis, but can not find a cure for their pain, despite active and indicated attempts at spinal stenosis treatment, might be wise to reconsider the validity of the diagnostic theory.
This article resource section details the process of diagnosing stenosis in the spine and how some conditions are unfairly implicated in causing pain and neurological dysfunction.
Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis Procedure
Here are some of the topics closely related to the diagnostic process for spinal stenosis:
Misdiagnosed spinal stenosis is a huge concern in the modern medical establishment. Sure, the condition may exist in the spine, but not to the degree of eliciting symptoms. In essence, the structural changes are only a scapegoat on which the pain is blamed, but not the actual underlying source.
Spinal stenosis x-ray is useful for tentatively identifying bone issues which may cause central canal stenosis. This is antiquated technology and is only useful to a small degree for most patients.
Spinal stenosis MRI is a far superior diagnostic tool allowing doctors to visualize the entire spine clearly.
A narrowed spinal canal is a diagnostic verdict which describes a central spinal stenosis condition.
Foraminal narrowing is another diagnostic term which tells of a decease in the size of one or more neuroforaminal spaces.
Congenital spinal stenosis is very common and describes a condition in which the spinal canal is narrow from birth.
Acquired spinal stenosis is a general term for any non-congenital stenosis issue in the spine. These circumstances can be caused by traumatic injury or spinal deterioration.
Degenerative spinal stenosis is a normal part of the aging process for many people. As we get older, it is natural for the central canal and foraminal spaces to decrease in size, particularly in the mid to low cervical region and the low lumbar region.
What is the prognosis for spinal stenosis? You must know before seeking treatment.
Spinal Stenosis Consequences
Spinal stenosis can be an incredibly frightening diagnosis to receive, since patients typically conjure up visions of their spinal cord being crushed by cruel arthritic bones and herniated discs. This is precisely why it is so crucial to understand the facts about spinal stenosis in order to truly understand what the condition means to you and how it will affect your life and functionality.
Doctors must be very careful to present the honest facts to patients, including the truth that most mild to moderate stenosis conditions are not painful now, nor will they ever likely become so. Good doctors will always do this, as it is both part of their Hippocratic Oath and also part of their legal and ethical responsibilities. However, in some cases, less honest and profit-driven care providers will use any stenosis condition as an excuse to place the patient in highly lucrative treatment, or even perform unnecessary surgery, when they know the results are not likely to be good.
Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis Discussion
Make sure to discuss your diagnosis with your doctor and always seek a second or third objective opinion before beginning any long-term or drastic therapy regimen.
The diagnostic process is where most back pain and neck pain sufferers go astray in their quest for relief, since a great number of structural issues are demonized when the true cause of pain may not be what it seems, based exclusively on the limited diagnostic testing performed. I see many patients who have nonstructural conditions to blame for their pain and coincidentally have normal mild to moderate stenosis. I also see lots of patients whose pain has been blamed on an innocent lumbar or cervical stenosis condition, when all along there is another structural issue actually sourcing the pain. This happens all the time.
Be safe and be sure. Do not rush into anything and always learn as much as possible about your diagnosis in order to lessen the chances that you too may become one of the multitude of misdiagnosed victims destined to suffer needlessly. Please do not repeat my mistakes and suffer for decades without cause.