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Back pain: test whether it is the spinal canal

Back pain: test whether it is the spinal canal

Chronic back pain - is it due to the spinal canal?
18.12.2013

Spinal constriction is one of the most common diseases of the spine in old age. The spinal cord runs through the canal to the upper lumbar spine, after which the nerve fibers that supply the legs continue in the spinal canal. If there is not enough space for the thick nerve cord, because vertebrae, intervertebral discs or ligaments have become wider than they should, nerves are squeezed together. This leads to severe pain especially in the legs and back pain. However, many mistake this spinal stenosis for an intervertebral disc.

Dr. Thomas Bierstedt, spinal surgeon and specialist in neurosurgery from the Orthopedic-Neurosurgical Center in Datteln and Recklinghausen, developed a questionnaire based on patient data, with which everyone can find out for themselves whether they have spinal stenosis. Please note that the test does not replace a visit to the doctor.

1. How long have you had severe leg pain, possibly accompanied by back pain?
Not at all or only for a few days (0 points)
About half a year (1 point)
For many years (3 points)

2. Does the pain move from the back into, or even both legs?
In both legs (3 points)
In one leg (1 point)
In no leg (0 points)

3. Do you suffer from neurological deficiency symptoms or sensitivity disorders in the area of ​​the painful areas?
Yes, but very rare (1 point)
Yes, very often (3 points)
No (0 points)

4. Do you find it difficult to walk more than 200 meters at a time?
Yes, the pain increases significantly (3 points)
Yes, my legs become numb and weak (3 points)
Yes, both answer a las and b are correct (6 points)
No (0 points)

5. Does your pain improve when you ride a bike or do other sports with the trunk bent forward?
Yes (3 points)
No (0 points)

evaluation
0-1 points
You are very likely not to have spinal stenosis. However, if symptoms occur for more than ten days, please see a doctor.

Tip: Prevention is the best therapy: therefore do not rest on the result! Exercise, exercise a lot and eat a healthy diet.

2-8 points
They show the first symptoms that can speak for a spinal constriction. It's best to see a specialist in back disease so that they can perform further tests.

Tip: Surgery is not always necessary, because worsening and thus surgery can often be delayed. Conservative therapies are: pain therapies, back training and physiotherapy.

from 9 points
Symptoms such as permanent severe back pain, paralysis and sensation disorders indicate a high degree of narrowing in the spinal canal. Contact your back specialist immediately. If there is uncontrollable pain, important muscles are paralyzed or there are disorders in the bladder-rectum area, surgery is usually required.

Tip: Find out carefully before the operation. Today there are alternatives to stiffening surgery such as flexible spine stabilization, which maintains freedom of movement. (pm)

Author and source information


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