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Other Conditions With Symptoms Similar to Spinal Stenosis

Topic Overview

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can appear to be similar to symptoms of some other conditions.

Conditions with symptoms similar to those of cervical (neck) spinal stenosis include:

  • A herniated disc in the neck. A herniated disc occurs when a disc (which acts as a cushion between the bones in the spine) is damaged from an injury, normal wear and tear, or disease. This damage may cause the disc to bulge or break open (rupture). When a disc bulges or ruptures, it is called a herniated disc.
  • Peripheral arterial disease. Hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the arms may cause cramping pain that occurs when you are using your arms and is relieved by rest (intermittent claudication).
  • Nervous system changes (neuropathies), including multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, changes associated with vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies, and focal diabetic neuropathy.
  • Infections in the neck area.
  • Tumors in the neck area.

Conditions with symptoms similar to those of lumbar (low back) spinal stenosis include:

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last Revised February 13, 2012

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