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Does Spinal Stenosis Always Get Worse with Age?

Mar 21, 2024
Does Spinal Stenosis Always Get Worse with Age?

Does Spinal Stenosis Always Get Worse with Age?

Spinal stenosis causes the spaces within your spine to narrow, which, in turn, presses on the nerves that go through your spine. The pressure may lead to pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness. 

Many factors contribute to spinal stenosis, from herniated discs to thickened ligaments and bone spurs. The most common cause, however, is the natural wear and tear that comes with aging. 

You may naturally assume that the condition will worsen as you get older, but this isn’t always the case. While aging is a significant contributing factor, other factors, such as lifestyle choices and proactive management, also influence spinal stenosis.

At the NeuroSpine Center in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Phillip Henkin and our team use cutting-edge treatments to ease symptoms of spinal stenosis and improve the health of your spine as you age, saving it from significant degradation the condition could cause if not managed correctly.

Here, we explain how age can affect spinal stenosis and strategies you can use to manage the condition.

How does spinal stenosis affect your life?

Spinal stenosis primarily affects your lower back and neck. Some people with spinal stenosis may not experience symptoms, while others might experience pain, muscle weakness, or numbness. 

The severity of your symptoms typically depends on how much your spinal canal has narrowed. Severe spinal stenosis limits you from moving about freely, affecting your quality of life.

Does the condition progress with age?

Your spine changes as you age. Its discs may dry out and shrink, ligaments may stiffen, and bone spurs could form. These changes can narrow your spinal canal, leading to stenosis.

If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, it’s natural to think that the condition may inevitably worsen as you age. However, getting older doesn’t guarantee your symptoms will worsen. Several factors affect how quickly or severely the condition progresses. Lifestyle choices, overall health, and how actively you manage the condition all play a part.

The effects of lifestyle and management strategies 

Active management of spinal stenosis can significantly reduce its ability to limit your life. Physical therapy, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help relieve your symptoms and slow the condition from progressing. 

At NeuroSpine Center, Dr. Henkin emphasizes prevention and lifestyle as critical factors in managing spinal stenosis. Regular check-ups, staying active, and monitoring your spinal health can make all the difference. 

Aging while living with spinal stenosis shouldn’t prevent you from living your life to the fullest. While the condition can be marked by debilitating pain and discomfort, with the proper care, support, and lifestyle adjustments, it’s possible to maintain and even improve your quality of life. 

Book a consultation with Dr. Henkin online today or call 813-534-4945 to protect your spine as you age.