Signs and Symptoms of "Polyneuropathy" versus "Spinal Stenosis"
HOW DOES ONE DIAGNOSE SPINAL STENOSIS?
The easiest way to diagnose spinal stenosis is an imaging study, which is called an MRI of the cervical and lumbar spine. By visualizing the spinal canal the Compression of the nerves structures will be obvious.
There are some physical signs which hint at a compression of the nervous structures. Increasing backpain or leg pain which are relieved by sitting down or bending forward suggest a compression of the nerve roots in the lumbar spine.
An increase in deep tendon reflexes and spasticity are often associated with cervical spinal stenosis. Neck pain and shoulder pain along with loss of strength and clumsiness are telltale signs which warrant an MRI of the cervical spine.
Whenever numbness and tingling cause severe dizziness, it is necessary to obtain an MRI of the cervical and lumbar spine to rule out spinal stenosis as a cause. This is true even if there are other causes for polyneuropathy. The age of the patient matters, such that spinal stenosis is very likely in the older patient. Both diseases can occur at the same time and will compound each other.