What Is Neurogenic Claudication, and How is it Treated?

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Neurogenic Claudication

Neurogenic claudication is a condition that affects a person’s gait, oftentimes causing a noticeable limp. It is commonly caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar spine, which means patients with untreated spinal stenosis are at risk for developing the condition. Today, we take a closer look at neurogenic claudication, and we explain how it’s treated.

Understanding Neurogenic Claudication

Neurogenic claudication is a significant problem because it affects your ability to perform simple tasks with ease. Things like going for a walk or climbing upstairs now require your full attention, because your ability to move normally is affected. However, with the help of s skilled spinal specialist and commitment to a treatment plan, progression of the condition can be prevented and in some cases, reversed.

Symptoms of neurogenic claudication begin when narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal puts pressure on the spinal cord or at an exiting nerve root. These symptoms can include pain, discomfort or muscle weakness that radiates to your arms and legs. Since the compression is occurring in the lumbar spine, the affected areas are usually in the lower half of your body, like your hips, buttocks and legs. Any irritation or pain in these regions can produce the limping affect that gives this condition its name.

Lumbar spinal stenosis, and in connection neurogenic claudication, is caused by a number of different preventable and non-preventable issues, like:

  • Natural aging
  • Years of physical labor
  • Poor posture
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Injury or trauma
  • Genetic predisposition

Treating Neurogenic Claudication

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, you’ll want to begin a treatment regimen right away, because the sooner treatment starts, the higher the chance that it successfully alleviates symptoms. Conservative care options for preventing the continuation of spinal stenosis include: physical therapy, weight management, chiropractic manipulation, pain medications, epidural steroid injections and exercise therapy.

Minneapolis Spine Surgeon

If conservative care options fail to provide you with relief, a minimally invasive surgical operation may be your best option. The procedure will attempt to provide more space in the spinal column by removing damaged discs or other structures that are causing the nerve compression. Your specific surgical operation will depend on your exact situation, but surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis has very high rates of success, and it can help put an end to neurogenic claudication.

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