What causes spinal stenosis?
Have you ever heard of the phenomenon that as we age, we shrink? As we grow older, our bones and muscles and tendons and all the parts that make up our body can be subject to wear and tear. This wear and tear is very common in bodies that are over the age of 50, known as osteoarthritis. To be clear, this is a form of arthritis where the cartilage breaks down in between the bones, lessening the space in between them. The bones grow closer and closer, leading to a decrease of space for the nerves to travel through. When this happens in the spine, it is called spinal stenosis.
What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis occurs when the area between the spinal column is compressed, and it causes strain and pinching on the nerves that travel in that space. Typically patients with spinal stenosis complain of severe pain in the legs, calves, or lower back, and can also experience relief by leaning over or sitting down.
Not all individuals with spinal narrowing get symptoms. Due to this, “spinal stenosis” refers to the pain symptoms and not the actual narrowing.
Spinal stenosis, as well as osteoarthritis, is more common for people who are over the age of 50. However, younger people are more at risk as well if they have scoliosis or other spinal problems.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of spinal stenosis often progress over time as the nerves continue to compress. If you’re suffering from this health condition, you may experience:
• Numbness in the lower back and legs
• Feelings of numbness and pain in the back and neck
• Difficulty in mobility in severe cases of cervical spine stenosis
• Issues with stability and balance
These symptoms will affect your lower or upper back, based on the area of the spinal cord where the condition occurred.
Can chiropractic treatments help with spinal stenosis?
Treatment usually depends on how extreme your symptoms are. While traditional medicine may help decrease the symptoms, it often doesn’t treat the source of the problem. That is where chiropractic care comes in. A holistic chiropractic approach to spinal stenosis usually targets healing via spinal manipulation. Chiropractic treatment is appropriate for this condition since it corrects and re-aligns herniated and dislocated discs. As such, this can reduce pressure on the spinal cord, its nerve networks, and joints.
Besides spinal manipulation, your chiropractor may use various techniques to manage stenosis symptoms. The BC + PT chiropractors may use one of the many different treatments that are available, such as decompression or soft tissue mobilization to help alleviate inflammation and resolve numbness to restore your muscles’ functions.
Chiropractic care and you
Chiropractic care for spinal stenosis can address the underlying causes to ensure long-term wellness. The most effective chiropractic treatment for this condition entails accurate diagnosis, and understanding the individual’s clinical history. Most patients overcome this condition with chiropractic treatment without turning to surgery or medications. If you are experiencing the pain from spinal stenosis, its time to give BC + PT a call or fill out our contact form to start experiencing the relief that you need!