The spinal canal protects the spinal cord and the associated nerve passageways. Between each vertebral body, nerve roots leave the spinal cords through tiny openings. During the course of our lives, the spinal cords as well as these openings can get smaller without us even noticing. Only, in a more advanced stage, the space gets so small that symptoms finally show up.
This medical condition is then called “spinal stenosis”.
The characteristic symptom is the appearance of “window shoppers disease”. Those patients can only walk a few meters before they experience strong pain in the back which may radiate to the buttocks and legs.
Finally, they cannot walk even a short distance by foot anymore. In extreme cases, the legs are paralysed and without sensitivity. Sitting often alleviates such conditions on a short term basis.
The cause of spinal stenosis are a couple of anatomical changes. Due to degeneration of the joints the spinal joints and the associated ligaments are thickened. Or patients develop bony or bone-like structures on their vertebral bodies. In addition, damaged intervertebral discs may protrude into the spinal canal and put pressure onto the nerve bundles in the spinal canal.