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The “Toothbrush Sign” And Pinpointing Spinal Stenosis

You may have been reading the sports section of your local paper recently and noticed that several athletes have been out of commission due to something called spinal stenosis.   Your doctor may have also brought up the diagnosis to you if you’ve recently complained of lower back pain.  So, what is spinal stenosis, anyway?

Basically, spinal stenosis is a medical condition where the spinal canal (where your spinal cord fits into your spinal column) is smaller than it should be.  This smaller canal causes your nerves to rub against each other and cause inflammation, followed by significant and often debilitating pain.  Doctors can sometimes diagnosis spinal stenosis through something called the “toothbrush sign”, wherein patients complain of back pain when they brush their teeth in the morning.  It is a pretty unusual, but effective diagnostic tool!

Sometimes spinal stenosis is something you’re born with, and other times it develops later on in life, such as through a chronic injury or work-related problem.   Others have developed spinal stenosis as a result of back surgery or injury, such as from a car accident.  Recently, New York Mets baseball player David Wright had to take off time from the game due to worsening pain from his spinal stenosis. 

If you think you’re developing spinal stenosis and were recently injured, such as through a car accident or something like a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don’t consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you’re located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-515-9074 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

Background information provided by this New York Daily news article