Spinal stenosis has varied symptoms, depending on what are of the spine has narrowed. If the narrowing occurs in the lower part of the spine, an individual may have pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs. Nerve compression in the lower spine may cause sciatica. The most severe symptoms, which occur in cauda equina syndrome, include loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sexual function, and/or loss of feeling in one or both legs. If the narrowing is in the upper part of the spine, an individual may have pain, weakness, or numbness in the shoulders or arms.