Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Lumbar spinal stenosis can usually be diagnosed based on your history of symptoms, a physical exam, and imaging tests—tests that produce various kinds of pictures of your body. These tests include:
Your doctor may try nonsurgical treatment, such as pain-relieving medicines, exercise, and physical therapy, for a period of time before ordering imaging tests. If treatment works, you may not need tests.
Imaging tests can help confirm a diagnosis or rule out other problems. But even if imaging shows spinal stenosis, your symptoms may not match the results of the tests. So treatment is based on what your symptoms are and how much spinal stenosis is impacting your life, not just on the results of imaging tests.
The goals of treatment for spinal stenosis are to relieve pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs, to make it easier for you to move around, and to improve your quality of life.
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