The cauda equina is a group of nerves at the end of the spinal cord starting in most people around L1 or L2. Pressure on these nerves from a protruding disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) can cause a group of symptoms referred to as cauda equina syndrome including:
The symptoms may be on one or both sides. Anyone with cauda equina syndrome is considered a medical emergency and requires medical evaluation right away. The symptoms can progress and become irreversible with extreme disability. With proper treatment the negative effects can be prevented.