1. What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis the narrowing of the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord nerve runs. It is often caused by the overgrowth of bone caused by osteoarthritis of the spine. Compression of the nerves caused by spinal stenosis can lead not only to pain, but also to numbness in the legs and the loss of bladder and bowel control (cauda equina). Patients may have difficulty walking any distance and may have severe pain in their legs along with numbness and tingling.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms:
- Pain in the neck or back
- Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in the arms or legs
- Pain going down the leg
- Foot problems
One type of spinal stenosis, cauda equine syndrome, is very serious. This type occurs when there is pressure on nerves in the lower back. If you are experiencing the following symptoms below you should seek a doctor immediately:
- Loss of control of the bowel or bladder
- Problems having sex
- Pain, weakness, or loss of feeling in one or both legs.
2. Who gets Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is most common in men and women over 50 years old. Younger people who were born with a narrow spinal canal or who hurt their spines may also get spinal stenosis.
3. How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?
To diagnose spinal stenosis, we will ask you a variety of questions as well as conduct a physical exam. We may order tests such as:
- X rays
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized axial tomography (CAT)
4. How do we treat Spinal Stenosis?
Often times, a combination of passive and active chiropractic treatment is beneficial for those suffering with spinal stenosis. Passively, electrotherapy and laser therapy help to reduce some of the irritation experienced at the nerve root. Futhermore, actively, a variety of flexion exercises helps to alleviate pain experienced by those with spinal stenosis.