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Spinal Stenosis (cont.)

Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

When the patient visits a doctor, he or she will be asked questions about his or her symptoms. This is called a medical history. It will allow the doctor to obtain information about when the patient first developed symptoms, what makes it better or worse, what previous treatments have been tried, and what other medical conditions the patient may have that can affect spinal stenosis.

The doctor will then perform a physical examination, which will test the patient's muscle strength, reflexes, sensation, balance, and circulation to help determine if he or she has spinal stenosis. The specific location of the patient's symptoms can help the doctor determine which nerves are affected by the stenosis.

After the medical history and physical examination the doctor may order various tests to help confirm the diagnosis of spinal stenosis. These can include imaging studies such as X-rays, a CT (computerized axial tomography) scan, or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). These can help identify if the patient has any arthritis in the spine and can show the spinal cord and nerve being compressed.

The doctor may also order testing of the patient's nerves to see if there is any damage to the nerves caused by the spinal stenosis. These tests are called nerve conduction studies and EMGs (electromyography).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2015

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Spinal Stenosis:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Symptoms

What was the treatment for your lumbar spinal stenosis?

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with lumbar spinal stenosis.

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