Spinal Stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows. This can happen when the spinal cord becomes compressed, usually as a result of a disc bulge or bone spurs. It comes on gradually over time and can be caused by having degenerative disc disease. Although symptoms don’t always appear straightaway, patients will eventually begin to feel pain in the legs coming from the compression in the spine. This condition usually comes on after the age of 50.
When diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis, it’s crucial to find out the direct cause of the condition. If the problem has been caused by a herniated disc, the prognosis can be good with the right treatment. However, if the condition is down to the development of bone spurs, treatment can be much more difficult. Likewise, if Spinal Stenosis has gone too far, non-surgical therapies may not help.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
As a result of the narrowing of the spinal canal, nerves in the spine become compressed and can cause symptoms to spread into other areas of the body. This might be a radiating pain into the back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
Symptoms caused by Spinal Stenosis can appear as cramping or numbness in those areas as well. In severe cases, the pain or weakness caused by the condition could even stop you from being able to walk.
- Pain from spinal stenosis usually comes on during certain activities, mainly walking or standing for long periods of time
- As opposed to a bulging disc, many will feel the pain in both legs
- Relief is usually achieved by resting or by keeping the spine in a flexed position
Spinal Stenosis Treatments
Depending on the amount of degeneration, spinal stenosis is usually treatable without the need for surgical intervention. If Spinal Stenosis has been caused by a disc herniation, Spinal Decompression therapy can be an effective treatment. Combining treatment therapies can also help you get the best results, depending on the severity of the condition, use of laser or shockwave therapy may be beneficial.
- Spinal Decompression helps to ease the pressure from the nerves by using a gentle traction on the spine
- In cases that respond well to Decompression, Shockwave therapy can then be used to help break down the scar tissue in the spine to improve movement and flexibility. This will help the discs to continue to heal even after the decompression therapy has finished.
- In more severe cases, it may be helpful to have an initial course of laser treatments to kickstart the healing process and reduce sensitivity in the area.
- Prescribed exercises can also help by strengthening the area, which improves stability and makes walking much easier.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis is the gradual narrowing of the spinal cord that may develop as a result of a herniated disc or degeneration in the spine. Spinal Stenosis usually happens in the lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis), and it can often bring on symptoms such as pain, weakness or numbness in the lower back, into the legs and feet.
What causes of spinal stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis can be caused by a whole range of things. Like a herniated or bulged disc or bony growths, called Bone Spurs, on the vertebras or facet joints. You can be born with a naturally narrow spinal canal, leading to a congenital form of Spinal Stenosis. And previous accidents or surgeries on the back or neck can also be a potential cause of Spinal Stenosis.
Is spinal stenosis treatable without surgery?
Depending on the amount of degeneration, good results can be achieved in treating Spinal Stenosis and any form of surgery should be an absolute last resort. First and foremost, it’s important to differentiate between the Spinal Stenosis caused by a herniated or bulged disc, or caused by bone spurs. As the treatment method is different depending on what caused the condition.
What exercises can be done to help spinal stenosis?
As a guideline we will only introduce exercises after completing an initial course of treatment. This is so we can improve your movement and flexibility and reduce pain levels, before integrating a new part of your treatment plan.
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