You might be familiar with the word stenosis if you have been experiencing spinal pain for a while and most likely in your lower back and possibly in your legs. Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal column is narrowed causing pressure and irritation to spinal cord. Stenosis could also happen where spinal nerves exit from spinal column leading to compression of theses nerves. The symptoms of stenosis include neck or back pain, arm or leg pain, numbness and tingling, and pain upon walking which is relieved with resting.
Causes of stenosis
Arthritis or spinal degeneration, disc herniation, trauma, spinal tumors, and bone diseases could be named as the causes of stenosis.
Treatment of stenosis
The treatment could range from chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, to anti-inflammatory and pain medication, cortisone injection, and surgery. Often the longer the problem has been affecting the patient the longer or more invasive would be the treatment.
Conservative and non-invasive therapy has to be tried and exhausted before making a decision for surgery as the outcome of surgery is unpredictable. The common surgical procedures involve fusion of the sections of spine which might or might not lead to relief of pain. Even in terms of pain relief the fusion of a segment of spine could cause other neighboring segments to compensate for the lack of movement at the fused area leading to degeneration and pain in those areas.
Through the years we have treated many patients with stenosis. Flexion-distraction technique and sacro-occipital techniques are the choice techniques used in our office with good success rate. The goal with the mentioned techniques (which are very safe and gentle) is to take the pressure off spinal cord and nerves, reduce inflammation, and establish normal movement of spine. Muscle tightness or weakness is also addressed to provide more stability for spine.
The success of chiropractic care is dependent on primary cause of stenosis. Often cases with primary cause as disc pathology, trauma, or mild to moderate arthritis are more responsive to chiropractic care than cases caused by severe arthritis.
The patients who have already gone through surgery, are very possibly going to suffer from back pain, more so if they have had long standing back pain prior to surgery. Chiropractic care proves to be very effective in providing relief for these patients.