Features October 2012 Issue

When Getting Up Gets On Your Nerves

Spinal stenosis can cause pain when you walk or stand. Seek help to identify the cause and get you back in step.

You have difficulty preparing a meal because you can’t stand for more than five or 10 minutes at a time. You can’t walk through a grocery store without periodically finding a seat, your legs riddled with pain. These symptoms are typical of lumbar spinal stenosis, a disorder that affects an estimated 20–25 percent of adults over the age of 65 and is the most common reason why older adults undergo spine surgery. “With a growing population over 60 or 65, it’s a common problem,” says Daniel Mazanec, MD, associate director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health. “It can be very But not everyone with spinal stenosis will develop symptoms or require surgery.

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