Your spine, or backbone, protects your spinal cord and allows you to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in your spine. The narrowing can occur at the center of your spine, in the canals branching off your spine and/or between the vertebrae, the bones of the spine. When the spine narrows, it puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord and can cause pain.

Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people older than 50. Younger people with a spine injury or a narrow spinal canal are also at risk. Diseases such as arthritis and scoliosis can cause spinal stenosis, too. Symptoms might appear gradually or not at all. They include pain in your neck or back, numbness, weakness or pain in your arms or legs, and foot problems.

The wear-and-tear effects of aging can also lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. Narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal pinches the nerves that go to the skin and muscles of the legs. Sometimes, the pinched nerves become inflamed, causing pain in the buttocks and/or legs.