Commonly found in the lumbar region, or lower back and neck, or cervical spine, spinal stenosis is a painful condition. Currently, there is no cure for this condition, therefore, therapeutic methods from a chiropractor for spinal stenosis are a vital component of pain management.
What is Spinal Stenosis?
Stenosis means the narrowing of space. Spinal stenosis is when the spinal canal narrows, placing pressure on nerves and the spinal cord. It is commonly an age-related condition caused by osteoarthritis, and in rare cases, some individuals are born with spinal stenosis.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
The classification of spinal stenosis depends on the location where the spinal canal is narrowing. The two regions most susceptible to stenosis are the cervical spine and lumbar spine. These two areas are where the spine has the most mobility, making them vulnerable to injury.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Symptoms may vary depending on the location of stenosis. Stenosis is minor, to begin with, and gradually worsens over time, making it challenging to diagnose early. A CT or MRI scan may show a patient is suffering from spinal stenosis without them showing any symptoms.
Cervical spinal stenosis may cause tingling or numb sensations in the foot, leg, hand, or arm. Additionally, these extremities may feel weak, and the patient can develop problems with balance.
Lumbar spinal stenosis involves symptoms more isolated in the lower extremities. Numbness, tingling, and weakness in the feet or legs are primary symptoms. The patient may also experience cramping of the legs after standing or walking for long periods. This symptom usually alleviates when bending forward or sitting.
Both cervical and lumbar spinal stenosis involve back pain and stiffness. A decreased range of motion may result in reaction to the spinal canal narrowing. In severe cases, an individual may suffer from inhibited bladder functions, difficult bowel movements, and sometimes complete or partial paralysis.
Bone spurs, osteoarthritis, and herniated discs associated with the natural aging process are common causes of spinal stenosis. In some cases, a person is born with a naturally narrow spinal canal resulting in stenosis.
Additional causes that require chiropractor for spinal stenosis include:
- Bone overgrowth
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal injuries
A chiropractor for spinal stenosis can help to alleviate pain, increase the range of motion, and reduce the pressure placed on the spinal canal. Regular visits to a chiropractor will ease your symptoms so you can continue to live pain-free.
In the past, doctors used to believe that surgery was the better treatment plan for stenosis. Now, specialists recommended non-surgical therapeutic methods as an effective treatment option.
Chiropractic care focuses on adjusting spinal subluxations. Subluxations refer to vertebrae that do not move in their natural manner, resulting in stiffness and pressure placed on surrounding nerves and the spinal cord.
Spinal adjustments, traction methods, and decompression therapy offered through chiropractic for spinal stenosis are all effective methods of relieving pressure caused by subluxations. Additionally, a chiropractor will provide flexion-based movement programs to continue improving the spine’s range of motion.
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