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Spinal stenosis is a condition that affects many individuals Aaron Rodgers Navy Blue Jersey , especially those who have reached or exceeded middle age. Simply stated, spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column (which houses the spinal cord) becomes constricted. A number of factors can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal, chief among them the degenerative changes that occur as a person ages. Degenerative Changes As we grow older, we all anticipate that our skin will become wrinkled, our hair will gray, and our eyesight will become less acute. Just as these degenerative changes can occur later in life, so too can changes that affect the spine. This area of the body is not only relied upon for protecting the spinal cord Richard Rodgers Packers Jersey , which sends and receives sensory and motor signals to and from the brain, but it is also tasked with supporting the weight of the body and facilitating movement. Over time, these responsibilities can begin to take their toll, causing some of the spines anatomical components to break down, such as the vertebrae, facet joints, and intervertebral discs. Vertebrae are the bone structures that house and protect the spinal cord. Most people have 24 articulating vertebrae that run from their necks to their lower backs and nine fused vertebrae that make up the sacrum and the coccyx. Each articulating vertebra contains a passageway called the vertebral foramen John Kuhn Packers Jersey , which is more commonly known as the spinal canal through which the spinal cord travels. Between each vertebral pair is a passageway called the intervertebral foramen that provides space for nerve roots to branch from the spinal cord and travel throughout the body to deliver sensory and motor messages. There are a variety of degenerative changes that can occur throughout the spinal column that can potentially lead to spinal stenosis: As an individual ages, the ligaments in the neck and back can lose elasticity, leading to a shortening of the spine. This can lead to the development of canal stenosis (when the vertebral foramina become narrowed), and foraminal stenosis (when the intervertebral foramina are constricted).