Does standing or walking cause you pain? You might be dealing with Spinal Stenosis.


Low back pain is common, and if lumbar stenosis is the cause of your back pain, standing or walking can be difficult. The lumbar spine is located in the low back, above your waistline. Within the bones that make up the spine, also called vertebrae, there is a canal (or tube) where the spinal cord is located. Between the many bones of the spine, there are openings where bundles of nerves exit to reach other parts of the body. The spinal cord and nerves carry messages between the brain and the body.

Lumbar stenosis can occur when there is a narrowing of the spaces where the nerves travel through the spinal column or between the bones of the spine. Degenerative changes, or “wear and tear,” can cause shrinking of the height of the bones in the spine. This can narrow the spinal canal and the canals from where the nerve roots exit. This compression and narrowing can place greater pressure on the sensitive nerves, resulting in back pain, pelvic pain, leg pain, and possibly loss of strength.

Symptoms of lumbar stenosis often become worse with standing or walking. Complaints of leg burning or cramping are common. With more severe symptoms, loss of strength and tingling or numbness in the legs may occur. Individuals over age 50 are more at risk for developing spinal stenosis.

Therapy can address the pain of spinal stenosis and teach you exercises, stretches, and healthy ways of moving.

Courtesy of Medbridge.