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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Numbness or Tingling

Your symptoms suggest the possibility of spinal stenosis, a condition in which the space around the spinal cord in the neck or lower back is tight so that the nerves are being compressed. It tends to be worse standing and better leaning forward or sitting. Some people have a narrow spinal canal since birth but only notice symptoms later in life when a bit of arthritis or disc degeneration develops with aging. Contact your physician for evaluation unless symptoms go away on their own in two or three weeks. If this does turn out to be due to spinal stenosis, a number of treatment options are available, including medications for pain or nerve irritation, exercises, cortisone injections near the spine or, as a last resort, surgery.

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