Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal caused by excessive bone growth, thickening of tissue in the canal (such as ligaments or cartilage), herniated disc, or all three. This narrowing can squeeze and irritate the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots where they leave the spinal cord. The main cause of spinal stenosis is the breakdown of tissues caused by aging. Spinal stenosis occurs often in the lower back and causes pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs, feet, or buttocks.
Stenosis in the neck is called cervical stenosis. It can cause stiffness, pain, and numbness in the neck, arms, and legs. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing the symptoms of stenosis: it can alleviate pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs depending on whether the patient has cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) stenosis.