Spinal claudication vs Vascular claudication

Spinal claudication vs Vascular claudication
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In this post we compare the major differences between Spinal Claudication vs Vascular Claudication.

Claudication Definition

The word claudication originates from a Latin word “claudicare” which means, ‘to limp’ [1]. Claudication is a pain, cramp or sense of fatigue in a muscle group of the lower extremity related to walking or any sustained exercise of lower limbs [2]. It is relieved by taking rest. Claudication occurs elsewhere in the body, but it is the symptoms and nature of pain in the legs that have a major clinical significance.

Spinal Claudication vs Vascular Claudication

The table below enumerates the differences [3]:

No.CharacteristicSpinal or Neurogenic ClaudicationVascular Claudication
1MechanismIleofemoral Arterial InsufficiencyLumbosacral Nerve Root entrapment
2CauseIschemicMechanical compression which leads to Ischemia of cauda equina
4Pain LocationExercised musclesLumbosacral (sciatic)
5Pain relieved byRest (any posture)Rest (Flexion posture or sitting)
6Postural changesYesNo
7Walking uprightCause symptomsCauses Symptoms
8Standing stationarySymptoms not relievedRelieves symptoms
9SittingRelieves symptomsRelieves symptoms
10Stair climbingUp easier (back flexed)Down easier (less work for muscles)
11Bicycle (back flexed)Relieves symptomsCauses symptoms
12Motor DeficitRareVariable, exacerbated by walking
14Arterial BruitMay be presentAbsent
15Diagnostic InvestigationAngiographyMRI Lumbosacral spine

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  1. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/claudicare
  2. Smith RB III. Claudication. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 13. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235/
  3. Binder, D. K., Schmidt, M. H., & Weinstein, P. R. (2002). Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. Semin Neurol, 22(02), 157–166. DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-36539. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12524561/

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