A person's spinal column consists of 33 vertebrae. These stacked vertebrae form a canal that protects the delicate spinal cord.
Sometimes, the canal, which holds the spinal cord, becomes narrowed. This narrowing is called stenosis. Oftentimes, this narrowing causes the spinal cord and its many nerve roots to become pinched. The result is usually pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or a heavy feeling in the leg.
Several methods may be used to diagnose a spinal stenosis. These methods include the use of an MRI, a CAT scan, or a myelography. Once a proper diagnosis is made treatment may be prescribed.
Common treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, rest, changes in posture, and sometimes weight loss.