Self Help



Back Pain


Spinal stenosis generally occurs in those aged over 50 years as a result of osteoarthritic change to the vertebrae and decreased disc height causing a narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing can then irritate the nerves passing around it and cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness.


  • Leg pain and weakness in the legs, may also have numbness or pins and needles in the legs
  • Can be one leg or both
  • Symptoms worse with prolonged walking or standing
  • Symptoms usually relieved by sitting or bending forwards


  • Activity modification and pacing
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief- in discussion with GP may be able to consider antineuropathic medication such as amitriptyline or gabape ntin
  • Physiotherapy including range of movement exercises and a graded strengthening programme
  • Orthopaedic of surgery if unresolving- likely to improve buttock and leg pain but may not improve low back pain


MRI may be appropriate if symptoms do not improve with conservative measures after 3-6 months if wishes to consider surgery

Exercises to try


Back Pain
Allied Health Professionals Physiotherapist working with a patient

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