Your Vancouver WA Chiropractor Discusses the Major Types of Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of channel within the body. There are many differences in how stenosis affects anatomy. All stenosis conditions can be referred to as spinal stenosis.


The three main types of spinal stenosis are:

Foraminal stenosis
: This is the most common form of lumbar spinal stenosis. It is often referred to as lateral spinal stenosis. As the nerve root is about to leave the canal through a side hole in the back of the spine (called the neuro-foramen), something called a bone spur, that has recently developed from an arthritic facet joint or a degenerating disc can lead to pressing on the nerve root. With this form of spinal stenosis, the nerve root that is emerging is trapped. One way to visualize this kind of spinal stenosis is as a pinching of nerves in the area.

Central stenosis
: This is the narrowing of the central canal also known as central stenosis. This occurs in the lower back when the area compresses the thecal sac, causing pressure on bundle of nerves at the end of the spinal cord or the individual nerves inside the thecal sac.

Far lateral stenosis
: This is where the individual nerves exit from the center of the spinal canal through a hole in the back of the spine known as the neuro-foramen. There can also be narrowing beyond the neuro-foramen. This narrowing is also known as far lateral stenosis, which is often a combination of foraminal and far lateral stenosis.

For more information about spinal stenosis, please click here.

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