What exactly is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is an abnormal reduction in space in the open areas of the spine which can cause pain and/or numbness to the back, legs and arms. Stenosis often afflicts those 50 and older. The symptoms of spinal stenosis are generally progressive.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar and Cervical Stenosis
The most prevalent type of stenosis is associated with the lower back. It is called lumbar stenosis. Cervical stenosis is associated with the neck.
This is a reduction in the disc space resulting from the increase joint size within the spinal canal.
Central Canal Stenosis
This condition exists when the nerves are compressed within the spinal canal. The space available for the nerve roots is decreased which can interfere with their proper function and can cause both pain and numbness.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Symptoms of this condition are often progressive. In many cases the patient will feel burning, numbness, and/or tingling in the impacted areas. Symptoms for lumbar and cervical spinal stenosis often include:
- Lower back pain and weakness
- Lowed extremity leg and or buttocks pain
- Pain experienced when walking (often downstairs or down an incline) or standing without something to lean on like walker or shopping cart
- Neck and shoulder pain and weakness
- Upper extremity pain or weakness (arms and hands)
Spinal Stenosis Causes
There are a number of causes of spinal stenosis. Below are some of the most common causes.
Aging – As time passes ligaments often start to thicken. Joints and vertebrae cushioning may begin to deteriorate. Bone bulges, called spurs, may also develop.
Genetic – Some patients were born with a smaller spinal canal. This is known as congenital stenosis.Other hereditary conditions may be present.
Slipping Vertebrae – Sometimes spines are unstable and the vertebrae can actually slip.
Trauma – Broken bones and other critical injuries can result in spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Treatments
There are a number of natural and non-invasive treatments for spinal stenosis. It is often not necessary to receive a cortisone injection or even surgery. Chiropractors have had significant success in treating spinal stenosis. At Action Spine & Joint, treatment options include yet are not limited to the following:
- Spinal Decompression – using the best state of the art decompression machine available
- Spinal Laser Treatments – using the best deep tissue lasers available to heal disc and sciatic pain
- Chiropractic Adjustments – using a variety of gentle techniques including the Palmer method taught at the Palmer College of Chiropractic