Spinal Stenosis


Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: MYKEY, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

My lumbar spinal stenosis causes thigh pain that aches like a tooth ache. It’s always there. I am a mechanic (not autos) and my life has always been projects. Now, I am hiring people to do what I used to do. I am planning a laminectomy soon. I am on oxycodone 30 which gives me a 2 hour relief. I cannot tolerate more than 3 tablets a day. My doctor has me on a synthetic opiate which does help. What hurts me the most is the fact I do not want to walk anymore. I am 68 and tired of the pain.

Comment from: Misgaby, 35-44 (Patient) Published: June 14

I have degenerative disc disease from my L3 to S2 since I was 25. I am 39 and can’t even dress myself without help, and have pain all the time from my lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: Gaby81, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

Lumbar spinal stenosis is awful. I am only 39 and I’ve had it since I was 25. I am in pain 24/7 and nothing helps. Everyone says it is an age thing. Well, I am in my 30s, so age thing is not true.

Comment from: Diane, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I have had an MRI which shows lumbar spinal stenosis in L4 L5. I get woken up every night. I went to see a surgeon. His assistant says I need shots in my hip and didn't even talk about the MRI.

Comment from: Deeznuts, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I am 45 and just got out of the emergency room (ER), after 3 nights in a row of being woken up at 5 am with extreme back and right hip pain. On top of existing minor scoliosis and herniated disc in the neck, all scans show I now can add bulging disc, degenerative disc disease, and lumbar spinal stenosis to the list. I have tingling in my right toes and fingers. I see the neurosurgeon 10/29 for treatment.

Comment from: Cate, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 21

I too am suffering from lumber spinal stenosis, it's the most horrendous pain anyone can suffer. I too have had numerous treatments, injections, pain killers, and de-nerving which nearly killed me, I cannot believe no spine doctor can sort this. I have now got appointment with a spinal surgeon who says they can do decompression surgery, but I now have to wait to have my hips checked before anything else. I feel deeply sorry for anyone going through this horrible experience.

Comment from: Mike, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

I was very fit and active. I suffered an accident at work which caused me to have a discectomy. This slightly improved my symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis for a time. A few weeks after, I noticed I had stopped feeling like I was getting better. Over the next year I have gotten progressively worse and worse now I have awful pain in my legs when standing, shooting from my buttocks down to my toes. My legs always feel heavy and cold with pins and needles. I throw up when I walk too much or do too much, it is ruining my life.

Comment from: Anghela, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 16

I have lumbar spinal stenosis, and excruciating pain that I've dealt with for over a year. I can't find a surgeon that wants to do the surgery I need. They only want to do epidurals and they make my pain worse. I've been through physical therapy that made the pain worse. They have given me tramadol but it does nothing for my pain at all. My quality of life is basically nothing. I've had thoughts of suicide and hope that I will go to sleep and not wake up. I'm tired.

Comment from: Kristina, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 19

Because of lumbar spinal stenosis I cannot lift my legs to get into my pants. My toes hurt and curl, and the heels and the bottom of my feet hurt.

Comment from: kristywithak2, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 29

From time to time my sciatic nerves would bother me. Now I cannot walk 2 feet and I have pain in my leg; not just in the back of my leg, but also down the side and front of my leg gets a pain. It also hurts. I can't sleep. I also have mild lumbar spinal stenosis. I have bulged disc in my back and neck. I have neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, slipped disc and pinched nerves.

Comment from: Wirelessgirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

It started that I could walk for a couple hours without pain but now I’m lucky to be able to stand just to do the dishes. My house is a pig sty, I can’t do anything that I love doing. My lumbar spinal stenosis has ruined me, doctors in Queensland will not push for anything to be done. My L5 and L6 discs are gone, If I walk I want to vomit from pain, I have burning in my legs, buttocks and hips, and weakness (jellylike). I’m very young, and all I need is a disc replacement. Lap band! I’ll have 90 percent normality if they would do something. My future will be gone soon.


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow
Comment from: Ronnie, 55-64 (Patient) Published: January 31

I am a 58 year old male with lumbar spinal stenosis and bulging disc. Spinal shots did no good. I changed my diet, and went back to lifting weights. I still have pain 24/7 but I am much better; no ice on my back for 2 months compared to everyday 2 months ago. My diet and exercise have made a huge difference.

Comment from: Shirlee, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I have lumbar spinal stenosis along with a bulging disc. The strongest medicine the doctors have given me is gabapentin. Wonder if I need to see a neurosurgeon. I can't stand this pain much longer. I'm 66 years old but I feel like 86. I can't even go shopping.

Comment from: Dayna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I have been diagnosed with congenital lumbar spinal stenosis as of 6 months ago. I am 49 years old and my life has come to a halt. I was no longer able to continue my position as a CNA (certified nurse assistant). The pain started in my right leg. I thought it was arthritis and went to a doctor for pain relief. He did an MRI and discovered that I had spinal stenosis. The pain has progressed to both legs. I am unable to walk without a handful of pills. I have had 3 epidural injections which were unsuccessful.

Comment from: Missbee , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I had an L5 and S1 fusion on December 13th to treat lumbar spinal stenosis.. I woke up in so much pain. No local was given. Also my chin had a huge pressure wound that blistered and peeled off, and both of my arms were numb and unusable. My left arm came back in a day or two but my right arm took 1.5 months for me to be able to flex my bicep. I still can't write with or lift my right arm the same as my left. My bicep still hurts and my forearm is numb and tingly all the time. I had an MRI and it shows a bulge at C5 C6. I think it happened during the surgery.

Comment from: Fedup, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I've recently been diagnosed with lumber spinal stenosis. I have no pain in my back at all, it’s all in my legs, and the past week I've deteriorated as I can hardly walk. My legs feel like they weigh a ton and I have terrible pain in both. I'm currently on a 25-week waiting list. I've been to my general physician to ask if they can get me seen sooner to which she wrote a letter; that was 6 weeks ago and I've heard nothing since. Im terrified to have surgery in case I am left with back pain I’ve never had, but I can hardly walk.

Comment from: MrsLuna, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I am a 30-year-old woman and I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis, and 2 bulging discs when I was 28. Occasionally I'll get a shooting pain that only goes from my lower back to the bottom of my buttock. About 3 months ago I was bent over changing my baby's diaper. I was totally fine and I simply leaned over to reach for the wipes and I felt the worst shooting pain all the way down to my feet. My legs completely went out and I dropped to my knees. I have been in a lot of pain since.

Comment from: Anna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I suffered a compression fracture of the L5 S1 level in 1987. I had a laminectomy 11 years later because of re-injury. I did well for 10 years. I now have severe lumbar spinal stenosis, and last year herniated discs at the L3 L4 level. I lost the feeling in my leg. I regained some feeling on the outside of the leg. I was scheduled for knee replacement in that leg which was cancelled because of my numbness. I finally had it done on 7/8 2019. My back felt good until recently.

Comment from: Greg Otis , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 13

I have spinal stenosis in my neck and lumbar region, first diagnosed when I was about 46 or 47. I am now 68. I still work, as a school janitor, so I keep moving. I have learned to live with it but I have to closely watch that I don't overdo strenuous work. If I do overdo, it might take me days to recover. I take over-the-counter ibuprofen 200 mg, two tablets, twice a day, sometimes three times if needed. It has gotten worse over the years, but I have been able to manage it.

Comment from: Farmer62, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 13

My diagnosis is severe lumbar spinal stenosis, herniated disc, and bulging disc. I have tingling and numbness in thigh, toes numbness and swelling, and spondylosis without myelopathy. The doctor is going to try facet injection next, not sure what the next step will be after that.

Comment from: Griffon, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis 1 year ago after being diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Exercise in our club house gym and the use of a large ball to stretch the back has helped a great deal. However the greatest pain relief has come with a dose of CBD oil every morning. I am pain free except on a day like today with the hurricane moving up the east coast.


The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
Comment from: Laurie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: August 09

My mom is 81 years old and has lumbar spinal stenosis on her left side, which is progressively getting worse, but the pain that she has is all on her right side. I wonder how that is possible. She's had an MRI showing nothing wrong with the right side but the stenosis on the left has gotten worse since last year.

Comment from: 32 yr old parstroope, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

As a 32 year old paratrooper, I shattered my right knee on only my 14th jump. A year after I was diagnosed with hip impingement and bursitis on the right hip. And just last week my 3 years of lower back pain was diagnosed with multilevel degenerative disc and lumbar spinal stenosis. I have a severe pain on my knee, hip, and lower back. I need to have a surgery, but I can't because I have to work to feed my family. I have been taking tramadol for over 4 years and the Veterans Affairs doctor doesn't seem to take my pain seriously.

Comment from: Sotired, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

My lumbar spinal stenosis which has caused a curvature of my lower spine causes very painful daily leg and hip pain. It causes and is causing bladder and bowel movement changes. I have to rest more often. I exercise every night and I do not believe physical therapy helps at all, this is something that can be done at home. I have lost weight, I exercise daily and the pain has not dissipated at all. I don't believe surgery will bring any possibility of less pain, I believe they need to come up with some other plan.

Comment from: Callie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

I was just diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. I have degenerative disease as well as arthritis and sciatica. My spine is also twisted. The pain runs from my spine down my buttocks and all the way down my legs. I have numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. I take 17 medications daily in order to function. I had neck surgery a few years ago due to a bulging disc that left me paralyzed. Thank goodness I'm walking now. Best wishes to you all.

Comment from: Nock, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I was diagnosed about two years ago with lumbar spinal stenosis and bulging discs. I went to see a neurosurgeon and he told me I would need surgery in two years. I walked out of his office with a pain management referral. They wanted to do shots and pain medicines. Everyone in the waiting area looked like the walking dead so I walked out, I knew it wasn’t for me. I went online, discovered the inversion table, and ordered it that day. No more pain, and no medicines. Good luck to you all.

Comment from: Arkysaw247, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 07

I was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis along with herniated discs way back in 1999. My problem is I've never had any back pain with this, but I've had a huge sciatic nerve problem shoot down my left leg, which has caused numbness in the bottom of my left foot. In 2016, I had the same thing happen again, burning sensation shooting down my left leg, this time it left the bottom of my right foot numb. I know my spine is responsible for all of this, but I still do not have any back pain. I don't want any surgery on my spine since I have no pain, but it is very hard trying to walk, or balance myself with the bottom of both feet numb.

Comment from: lornaf06, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I have lumbar spinal stenosis and had open back surgery on 1/14/16. I ended up with 2 fusions, L4 to the L5 and L5 to the L6. Also, they cleaned out my S1 sciatica. This left me with 2 rods and 8 screws. To date I still have a difficult time standing too long and I can only walk around the cul-de-sac 1 time, then have to go into the house and sit for a few minutes before I can try again. Sometimes I need to sit half way on a cable box. Throw in some rheumatoid arthritis and I have the double whammy. I don't think that this surgery helped me much. I am still limited. If you've got the pain already I guess it's worth a shot. I didn't have much choice. My only question to the surgeon was if the surgery will leave me in a wheel chair and he said no, so I went with it. My case is not elective. When the weather is dry and hot I can sit and sleep without any pain. So, at least I have that much. I would say what you have to lose when you are already in this kind of shape.

Comment from: Colleen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 17

I bent down to pick up my 2 year old grandson and felt as though something snapped in my lower back. This is the third time this lumbar spinal stenosis has happened, first time it took 3 months to get better, second 4 months; hope this doesn't take 5 months! It has taken me 20 minutes just to sit in a chair. I am waiting for appointment to see the doctor at hospital. I am taking naproxen and Co-codamol.

Comment from: bigdog, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 04

I have been living with lower back pain for over a year now, I have numbing in the lower back down my left leg to the knee area. When I had my job and insurance I was going to therapy; sometimes it helped and other times it didn't. I went to a doctor to see if I qualify for disability and I told him I know I already have a bone spur and they took x-rays and found about 6 bone spurs. So as of June 2nd I am still living in pain with my lumbar spinal stenosis.

Comment from: scared, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I have been suffering lumbar spinal stenosis for more than 20 years. I became disabled about 4 1/2 years ago due to sciatica pain and back pain, which were too intense to function as my job required. Every family doctor, 2 neurosurgeons, sports medicine doctor, all said nothing could be done. Even 3 trips to pain management was a waste of time for the pain was not relieved. Now 12 years later with very little relief due to chiropractic care, I am now in more pain, and the sports medicine doctor wants to do spinal fusion surgery. I need something but am scared that this will make pain worse. I can't even walk around my home 2 times for pain is unbearable now, so I am strongly considering this surgery. I am not sure what to do to get relief. I also suffer with intercostal neuroglia that I can hardly breathe for pain, or lay on right side due to intense pain. This, they say, is due to bone spurs bridging in thoracic 7 through 11 vertebra.

Comment from: Buckeyeken, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I am a 55 year old male. I used to get small back pains and take a few Advil to get me through the day. One day at work I slipped down a few steps of a ladder and landed flat footed. Although it hurt, I was still able to work. Pain started to increase a little more for the next few days and my big toe on my left foot was going numb. I was going on vacation for 3 weeks to visit my family and my brother has a hot tub and figured I would just relax in it every day. A few days after visiting with them, I bent over to pick something up and something popped/crunched in my lower back. Instant pain. I could barely walk. I waited a couple of days and went to the emergency room (ER). They said it was lumbar spinal stenosis. First 3 weeks I crawled to get around the house. I was even unable to sit for more than a couple minutes. I couldn’t fly back home. I have been stuck here with my family for several months now and am about to have surgery in 10 days. After reading some of these stories I am starting to get worried. I have been on Dilaudid (morphine) for 2 months just so I can function. Then the pain started in my right leg, I can walk for about 20 feet before the numbness starts to affect my ability to stand. I was told the stenosis is severe and is closing in on both sciatic nerves going down my legs. I wanted to get laser surgery, but of course my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Wish me luck.

Comment from: Rose, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I have a pain in my buttocks, a pulled nerve from lumbar spinal stenosis. My right calf is tight, heavy and painful, and my feet are cold and numb. Also my lower back has pain.

Comment from: Patrina tee, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 03

Six years ago my doctor did a scan that showed lumbar 1 and 2 completely absent. They did nothing and now I can’t stand straight and my legs hurt from lumbar spinal stenosis. The doctors won’t take this any further because of cutbacks, and now I am depressed and suicidal. I can’t understand why they won’t help, my pain is so bad I sweat with pain.

Comment from: relu5685, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I did my back surgery two years ago. After completing one year, I can't live comfortably because of pain. After research on lumbar spinal stenosis, I've found some things. I read somewhere to change my daily routine like sitting on a chair which is specially designed for back surgery problems. So, after using it, I feel better. Now, my pain is very less compare to one year ago.

Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

My legs go numb when I stand up because of lumbar spinal stenosis. I have a bi-lateral L5 S1 herniated disc. I have burning in legs and numbness in feet.

Comment from: Linda, 65-74 (Patient) Published: May 09

My pain came on very quickly starting along my lower buttock. When I walk I get spasms in my leg so I have to use a cane to get around. This lumbar spinal stenosis has been going on for 6 months. I go for a scan at the end of month. Some days are better than others.

Comment from: Bishop, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I have always been very active until adult onset asthma which limited my ability to walk even short distances without losing my breath. We were on vacation and went to a show where we sat for about 2 hours. When I got up to leave we started walking and I was losing my breath, a numbness started at the back of my neck and a dull ache went down my arms, across my upper back and around to my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. I found some place to sit down and after about 20 minutes it was better. Since then it has happened several times after changing a position, or a chair. An x-ray said it was arthritis in the spine, spinal stenosis, and bone spur. I did some treatments with a physical therapist and it felt better for a period of time but it is starting again. Even going from the car into the church and sitting down sets it off again.

Comment from: Larry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I have developed lower back pain, pain in the back of knee and front of foot because of lumbar spinal stenosis. I was very active until pain slowed me down. One foot is significantly shorter than the other.

Comment from: rchbrmd53, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

I was originally diagnosed with degenerative disk disease, the problems being pain in my neck, numbness and tingling down my right arm, numbness in my hands so bad that I couldn't even hold a fork to eat. I had an MRI done with good success. A little better than a year later, I had the same symptoms on the left side. The first surgery covered C2-C5 with spinal stenosis, and the second MRI showed that there was damage to the vertebrae above and below that spot. I ended up having a second surgery which covered C2 to T2. I got relief and went back to work, and was told that should do it. I was taken to the hospital with heart attack symptoms, but it turns out it’s my neck again and I’ll probably have to have a third surgery. I'm a 53 year old male, and I am very active, but the arthritis keeps eating everything anyway. Before you have surgery done, get a second opinion, and if you do have the surgery, make sure you have a reputable surgeon to do the procedure. Once you have the first one done, it will put pressure on everything above and below where you had it done, so expect more complications in the future. My advice is deal with it as long as you can before you have any procedures done, and do your research before you do, because once you start, there is no end. Good luck to you all.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

As I read the comments, I am crying. I have been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis and degenerative disc disease and deal with pain daily. Due to these conditions I have a lot of muscle imbalance issues, which within themselves cause a certain amount of pain. I too have been to everyone for help, one says surgery, one says no, one says I have fibro. I am managing life with 4 kids, business not to mention running a household with meds, but I know the current climate regarding pain management, it will come to an end. I don't sleep and I am borderline depressed. Inactivity is not the answer, as much motion as I can get in my back the better. To get this motion a certain amount of pain medication is necessary.

Comment from: 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I'm a 36-year-old male, and two years ago, I had a disk rupture in my back while getting ready for work. It was the disk between the L-4 and L-5 region. Sixty percent of the disk ruptured into my spinal column and did nerve damage. I had surgery to remove the bulge but still have severe pain and numbness in my foot and leg, including shooting electrical pains in various parts of my body and swelling in my left foot. I also have nerve damage on my left side. I'm taking narcotics to help control the pain and muscle relaxers to help with the spasms in my back and legs. If it had not been for the loss of feeling in my leg, 100% the day before the surgery, I would have opted to not have it and let my body heal itself. I would not recommend surgery for anyone who does not absolutely has to have it. I hurt as bad today as I did before and there is nothing else I can do about it. And my surgery was done by a neurosurgeon. My condition is so severe that it has kept me from working or having a normal life. Where do you turn when you’re told by different doctors that, “You’re as good as your going to get?” I have no answers, but to those of you who are hurting and have lost your ability to live a normal life, you’re not alone. Good luck to everyone, and just maybe they will come up with a way to stop the pain.

Comment from: PiazzaM, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

My MRI shows 3 bulging discs, scoliosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. I have no idea where to start.

Comment from: bassmaster, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 07

I went to my family doctor for back pain and was told (after an x-ray) that it was arthritis and I will have to live with it. I then went to a neurologist and an MRI showed lumbar spinal stenosis and two discs (L-4, L-5) out of place. I did not want surgery so I went to a chiropractor and had traction for about six months. This resulted in the discs going back into place. As to the stenosis, I am living with it.

Comment from: dee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 02

I was diagnosed five years ago with lumbar spinal stenosis. Also, around the same time, I was diagnosed with MS. I saw a doctor who started me on medications, and sent me for an MRI, which showed a narrowing of my spinal cord in my neck. Anyway, after many other treatments, today I got my first bilateral lumbar transforaminal treatment. I was very glad to find this site. It helped me understand a lot of things about my condition that I did not know before.

Comment from: 45-54 Female Published: February 16

I have just been diagnosed with stenosis of L4 and L5. I have had 2 previous surgeries for cervical stenosis, affecting c3, c4, c5, c6 and c7. I live with daily pain from the previous surgeries. By the end of almost every day, I have headaches that are so severe I cannot function. Now I am having difficulty walking and standing from pain because of the lumbar stenosis. I will put off surgery as long as I can, because I know from my previous experience and from others I have talked to, that when you have surgery you are only trading one type of pain for another. My advice to anyone who is thinking about surgery is DON'T DO IT unless the compression on your spinal cord is so severe you are in danger of permanent damage.

Comment from: katesback, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 26

I have lumbar stenosis and besides an always-aching back I experience cramp-like pain down the outer legs, sometimes off and on for days.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I have spinal stenosis combined with scoliosis throughout my spine. I first was afraid of MS, but then found out that it was my spine that was giving me the problem. I have constant pain and have been in physical therapy off and on for the past 30 years. Everything I try works temporarily. What I can tell the person who must work behind a desk for 6+ hours, is put a heated cushion down for relief. I am on leave for surgery and am finding that I may have the problems that were caused by my spine, not my other limbs. This disease takes a lot out of you. You cannot sit, stand or walk for long periods of time. It gets worse with age. I do physical therapy, but it does not last for long. What is worse are orthopedic doctors who do not believe you even when they see the MRI.

Comment from: romeo.bello, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 12

I am 39 yo and suffering from pain and numbness in the feet, leg, thigh and groin. It is hard for me to walk up to 200 meters. It's difficult for me to sit in a chair for a long period of time. It affects me in my work so much because I am always in front of a computer, sitting for as long as 6 to 7 hours a day. I need help.

Comment from: McBerk, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 02

Lunbar spinal stenosis: While I have tingling and numbness of the lower extremities and occasional disruption of normal bowel movements, the presence of erectile dysfunction stands out as the one complaint I receive, with no successful assistance. Medications fail to help. I’m 79 and I take physical therapy and I workout four times a week.

Comment from: mercedes, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I have lumbar spinal stenosis and was just involved in a rear end vehicle collision, was in passengers seat and a hummer rear ended us on the right back totaling the car. Now I’m in real bad pain this was 1 week ago.

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