Unfortunately, I am totally familiar with Cauda Equina Syndrome and it's causes and effects on the body, but it doesn't make me an expert.
The Cauda Equina as Chutz explained are the lower lumbar and sacral nerves that exit the spinal cord from L1 down. Each pair of spinal nerves exits the spinal cord at each vertebral level. There are 26 pairs of nerves going down the spine.
The nerves in the Cauda Equina effect the low back, bladder, bowel, hips, private areas of males and females, the legs, and feet and can effect both sensory and motor nerves. You can have damage to a spinal nerve that is just sensory so that it can cause everything from mild disturbances in the things that you feel or don't feel to nasty stabbing, electrical shocks that seem to come out of nowhere and any combination that you can think of in between.
It can also cause motor disturbances - everything from twinges in the muscles from your low back to a complete failure of the nerve impulses that tell a muscle to contract or release. It depends entirely on the severity and location of the problem and what nerves it effects.
CES is a compilation of symptoms that together cause Cauda Equina Syndrome-
Cauda Equina Syndrome Symptoms
Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include the following:
Low back pain can be divided into local and radicular pain.
Urinary manifestations of cauda equina syndrome include the following:
Bowel disturbances may include the following:
You are correct, there can be a long term form of CES that occurs over time- and also a positional form. What happens in those cases is that the lumbar nerves are compressed for such a long time but may not be a complete compression that happens suddenly due to a herniated disc, but may be because of long term severe spinal stenosis, or worsening stenosis that is moderate, a bulging disc that is compressing the entering or exiting spinal nerves on either side (lateral bulges) instead of central that cause the type of CES that you are talking about. CES, in any form is devastating for the patient. It can and is often missed by those very doctors who should know what CES is and how to diagnose it, but because it is allegedly so "rare", it is often misdiagnosed as failed back surgery syndrome" in those cases where there is damage to either the bladder, bowel or both for some of us. I fall into the later category.
My CES did allow my disability to be approved without a delay but it is not a diagnosis that I would want anyone else to have to list on those forms. It is also a spinal cord injury in the true sense of the word, since it causes sensory and motor problems, in whatever areas that the spinal nerves are damaged. In cases where you have both sensory and motor problems, it is usually because of an undiagnosed /untreated/undertreated spinal stenosis since those nerves are in different areas of the cord and there is damage to both sensory and motor conduction.
I'm sorry that you find yourself dealing with it. It is a long term problem that may worsen if not treated. In other words, if it is spinal stenosis that caused your damage, it might be best to find a board certified spinal neuro or orthopedic surgeon to get the stenosis relieved.
I wish you the best as you continue your journey in getting treatment. Mine was also diagnosed by my urologist.