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Spinal stenosis may be cause of walker’s pain

SHARE Spinal stenosis may be cause of walker’s pain

If you are avoiding a daily walk because of leg and buttocks pain, you could have spinal stenosis, a narrowing of your spinal column, according to Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Stenosis is the medical term for narrowing.

Aging brings changes to your backbone as the disks between the vertebrae naturally shrink and wear down, bulging out like a low tire and narrowing the spaces. If that narrowing compresses nerves, pain can occur.

Signs of spinal stenosis tend to appear slowly and are most common after age 60. They include aching in the buttocks, thigh and calf muscles, pain that radiates from the buttocks to the calf, burning, cramping, tingling or numbness in the legs or progressive leg weakness. Usually, the symptoms get worse with walking, especially downhill, and standing.

In the past, spinal stenosis was usually managed with surgery, enlarging the spinal canal where the nerves are compressed. But studies have shown the disease is often not relentlessly progressive. A physician could recommend physical therapy, pain medications or surgery, depending on the severity of the symptoms.