Neurogenic Claudication

Neurogenic claudication is a condition that results from spinal stenosis in the lumbar region and can affect the lower back and/or glutes and legs.

Spinal stenosis occurs when narrowed pathways compress the spinal nerves. “neurogenic” means the problem is related to a nerve, while “claudication” is from the Latin word for limp.

Some of the common symptoms associated with the condition include discomfort, cramping, weakness, and pain in the legs, making walking difficult. Neurogenic claudicationis also commonly referred to as pseudo claudication. On the other hand, vascular claudication is caused by the impaired flow of blood to the muscles in the leg.

The main goal of neurogenic claudication treatment is to decompress the nerve roots in the lumbar spine. In some cases, neurogenic claudication surgery might be required to treat the condition.

Spinal Stenosis

What Is Neurogenic Claudication?

Neurogenic claudication is a condition characterized by pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs that occurs during physical activity or walking. This is typically caused by compression or irritation of the nerves in the lower back, which can result from conditions such as spinal stenosis or herniated discs.

The symptoms of neurogenic claudication can vary in severity and may include leg pain, tingling, or numbness that improves with rest and leaning forward, such as on a shopping cart. Treatment options for neurogenic claudication depend on the underlying cause of the nerve compression and can include rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and corticosteroid injections. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the affected nerves.

Preventative measures for neurogenic claudication include maintaining good posture, exercising regularly, and avoiding activities that place excessive stress on the lower back. If you experience symptoms of neurogenic claudication, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and appropriate treatment options. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further nerve damage and improve outcomes.

Neurogenic Claudication Surgery

Causes Of Neurogenic Claudication

As mentioned earlier, neurogenic claudication can result from spinal stenosis. A degenerative spine condition, spinal stenosis, can develop over time or as part of the aging process.

Over the years, the openings where the spinal nerves pass can become constricted. This places pressure on the nerves and causes neurogenic claudication. A traumatic injury can also cause neurogenic claudication.

Causes of Neurogenic Claudication

Conditions that can lead to Neurogenic Claudication

Individuals with neurogenic claudication will have trouble standing or walking for extended periods. Symptoms of the condition can start as mild but will typically become more severe once the underlying condition worsens. Some of the possible conditions that can cause neurogenic claudication include:

Disk Degeneration

Disc Degeneration

Over time, intervertebral discs can lose water content and elasticity. This can reduce the disc’s height and diminish the space that’s available for the nerve roots. It can also become possible for some of the bony elements of the spinal anatomy to come into contact with one another.

Injury

Injury

Trauma secondary to collision or fall has the potential to disrupt the spinal anatomy. Injury can either exacerbate existing degenerative conditions or directly produce symptoms.

Arthritis of the spine

Arthritis Of The Spine

The facet joints tend to wear down as you age. The joint degeneration can minimize the space available for adjacent nerve roots. It might also cause the vertebrae to rub against each other.

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Symptoms of Neurogenic Claudication

Common Symptoms of Neurogenic Claudication

Symptoms of neurogenic claudication can include the following:

  • Tingling, cramping, and pain in the lower back
  • Tingling, cramping, and pain in one or both legs
  • Tingling, cramping, and pain in the buttocks or hips
  • Leg weakness
  • Discomfort
  • Tired feeling

The symptoms are more pronounced when walking or standing upright. It is typically relieved when sitting down or leaning forward.

How to Deal with Neurogenic Claudication

If you experience unexplained tingling or pain in the buttocks, legs, or lower back, it is recommended that you visit your doctor for a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with neurogenic claudication, there is a huge possibility the symptoms can be managed using pain medication, exercise, and other conservative treatment options.

Many patients find short-term relief during the early stages when they stoop, sit, or bend forward at the waist. In mild cases, conservative treatment options like pain medication or an organized treatment program may be prescribed.

If weakness, tingling, and chronic pain persist after several months of conservative treatment, nerve decompression surgery may be considered.

How to Deal with Neurogenic Claudication
Treatment Options for Neurogenic Claudication

Treatment Options for Neurogenic Claudication

Spinal stenosis can result in neurogenic claudication if the adjacent nerves are irritated. When there is an interruption of the neural function around or in the lower spine, the following symptoms may manifest:

  • Cramping or mild pain in the buttocks and lower back that can worsen over time.
  • Pins and needles feeling and tingling that travel from the lower back down to the buttocks and the thigh.
  • Weakness affecting specific muscle groups that are innervated by the nerve or nerves affected.
  • Bladder or bowel problems if the cauda equina is affected by the nerve compression.

MicroTubeTM Spine Surgery Treatment Option for Neurogenic Claudication

Often, patients with neurogenic claudication will experience instant, albeit temporary, relief when they sit down or bend forward at the waist. Feelings of discomfort in the buttocks, thigh, calves, or lower back are relieved when the spine is stretched. This can be attributed to the fact the compressed nerve structures are given more space.

However, bending forward or sitting down won’t decompress an affected nerve root. This is especially true if the compression is caused by a degenerative spine condition caused by aging (i.e., arthritis of the spine or herniated disc).

Common symptoms of neurogenic claudication can include pain in the buttock regions, lower back pain, and pain in the legs or thighs. Neurogenic claudication can affect a patient’s ability to walk or stand up without pain. As a result, patients may try to sit down or lean forward to alleviate their symptoms. MicoTube Spine Surgery has a minimalistic approach and access to central canal stenosis, so the nerves’ space can be widened and decompressed through a partial laminectomy. Learn more about the benefits of MicroTubeTM Spine Surgery by clicking here.

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