Spinal Stenosis and Balance Problems: Understanding the Link

You may not realize it, but a lot goes into keeping you upright and on your feet. Your brain, nerves, muscles, bones, joints, eyes, and even your ears and blood vessels work together to help you maintain balance whether you’re lying down or standing up. 

Dysfunction within any of those systems can make you feel dizzy and unsteady. 

In this blog, Dr. David Wu and our team at CurePain take a closer look at balance problems that stem from a spinal condition called spinal stenosis. 

Decoding dizziness

It’s easy to write off dizziness, especially if you’re getting older. But sudden, rapid deteriorations in your balance are cause for concern and usually indicate an underlying issue. 

Many medical conditions can explain balance problems, including several nerve conditions. 

Your nervous system is your body’s built-in communication system. It plays a role in everything from sensation to orienting your body. If a part of your nervous system is damaged, your nerves and brain may not communicate effectively, triggering balance issues, dizziness, and falling. 

One of these conditions occurs in your spine. 

Your spine and your balance

Your spine is a column of bones stacked on each other called vertebrae. Running through the middle is one of the two main parts of your central nervous system: your spinal cord. 

Sometimes, the space inside your bones is too small, which puts pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through it. This is called spinal stenosis. 

Some are born with smaller-than-normal vertebrae, but spinal stenosis usually develops as the result of:

Spinal stenosis can occur anywhere in your spine, but it’s most common in your neck and lower back. 

The pressure on your spinal nerves can affect their communication with your brain and leave you feeling off balance. 

Diagnosing and treating spinal stenosis

Because dizziness is such a complicated problem, we leave no stone unturned. If you haven’t been able to pinpoint the source of your balance problems, we want to take a look at what’s going on in your spine. Diagnosing a condition like spinal stenosis usually requires imaging tests like an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.

The good news is spinal stenosis can be easy to treat if we catch it early.

Depending on how severe your symptoms are, you may benefit from a conservative approach, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Or, you may need more targeted treatments, such as:

We offer a wide range of interventional pain management strategies to help you recover from spinal stenosis as naturally and quickly as possible. However, if you have severe spinal stenosis, you may need surgery to create enough space in your spinal column for your nerves to remain undisturbed. 

Dizziness doesn’t have to define your days any longer. If you’re at the end of your rope, come see us to check for an underlying nerve problem. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation at our Torrance, California, office today.

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