Arthritis, falls, accidents, and wear and tear on the spine’s bones and joints can also cause lumbar spinal canal stenosis. It starts gradually and develops over a long period of time.
Lumbar spinal canal stenosis is not the same as a ruptured disk. A ruptured or “herniated” disk usually pinches 1 or 2 nerves at a time. The pain caused by a ruptured disk in the lumbar spine is usually easy to diagnose and is known as sciatica.
Sciatica usually causes back pain that shoots down one leg along the path of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can happen any time, not just when you stand up or start walking like it does with stenosis.
People who have lumbar spinal canal stenosis may have back or leg pain or numbness. Their legs might also feel cramped, tired or weak. These symptoms usually start when they are standing or walking. Often, the symptoms get better if they sit, crouch or lie in the fetal position (with your knees tucked up to your chest).