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Spinal Stenosis (cont.)

Spinal Stenosis Causes

The most common reason to develop spinal stenosis is degenerative arthritis, or bony and soft tissue changes that result from ageing. Spinal stenosis is usually seen in patients over 50 years of age, and becomes progressively more severe with increased age. The normal "wear and tear" of ageing can cause arthritis in the spine that leads to spinal stenosis. This can be from bone spurs (osteophytes) forming, bulging and wear of the intervertebral discs, and thickening of the ligaments between the vertebrae.

Sometimes, increased motion between the vertebrae can cause one vertebra to slip forward on another. This is called spondylolisthesis, and it can also cause spinal stenosis.

Not everyone develops spinal stenosis as they become older. Certain people are more likely to develop spinal stenosis than others. People that have a family history of spinal stenosis or other back problems are at an increased risk of developing spinal stenosis because of a genetic trait. Also, people that subject their backs to greater demands such as heavy laborers or athletes are also at an increased risk to develop spinal stenosis than someone with a more sedentary job. Spinal stenosis may also occur in people with certain connective tissue diseases such as anhylosing spondylitis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2015

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