When You Visit Your Doctor - Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Where is the pain in your back?
  • Does it radiate to your legs?
  • Is it worse when you walk?
  • Does the pain from walking occur suddenly or gradually?
  • Is it relieved by standing?
  • Is it relieved by sitting or lying down?
  • What bothers you more, the pain in your back or the pain in your legs?
  • Does the pain worsen when you cough or sneeze?
  • Do you have numbness or decreased sensation in your legs?
  • Have you had problems with your balance?
  • Have you had any changes or difficulty in your ability to urinate?
  • How long have you had the pain?
  • Is it getting worse?
  • How much does it limit your usual activities?
  • How is your quality of life affected by the pain?
  • Have you ever had spinal surgery?
  • Have you ever injured your back?
  • Have you ever had hip surgery?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Do you have poor circulation, such as peripheral artery disease?
  • Do you have foot ulcers?
  • Have you ever had vascular surgery?
  • Do you have any sort of neuropathy (nerve damage)?
  • What are you doing to treat the pain?
  • Have you seen a physical therapist?
  • Are you interested in an injection of a cortisone-like medication into your back? Do you know anything about this procedure?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Spine
  • Hip
  • Pulses in the feet, behind the knee and in the groin
  • Neurologic exam

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • X-rays of the spine
  • CT scans of the spine
  • MRI scans of the spine