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Lumbar Stenosis: A Cause of Leg Pain

Have you been limited with walking because of pain in the back of your legs? Do you have progressive weakness or numbness/tingling in your legs? Are you over the age of 60? If so, you may be dealing with a condition called lumbar stenosis.


Lumbar stenosis is a term used to identify narrowing of the canals that our nerves course through located in our spine. The narrowing in the canals cause compression on the nerves in the lower back. Symptoms are usually associated with numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs. Occasionally, symptoms can be more serious and result in loss of bowel or bladder function. Symptoms are usually worse with standing and walking and relieved with sitting and/or lying down. In many cases, people who have lumbar stenosis have little to no back pain.

Although lumbar stenosis is a progressive condition that does not improve on its own, there are many different treatment options available to address your symptoms. The most common and conservative treatment method is physical therapy.


Your licensed therapy professional will perform a thorough evaluation looking at your back and leg mobility, measure you leg and trunk strength, examine your lower leg reflexes and sensation, and determine which activities are most challenging.


Physical therapy treatments include:

•Back and leg stretches

•Leg and trunk strengthening

•Education on modification to daily activities

•Pain management strategies

•Instruct on exercises or activities to avoid


Most patients respond well to therapy. In severe cases of stenosis, injections or surgical management may be required. In working closely with our patient's specialists over the past 44 years, we have witnessed numerous successful treatment outcomes in treating this condition and encourage those impacted to learn more about the help we can provide.

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