What is Spinal Stenosis and How The Treatment Can Help You

Struggling with lower back pain while walking or standing? Have you experienced balance problems lately? If these symptoms are accompanied by numbness, cramping, or tingling in the legs and buttocks, you might have spinal stenosis.

This condition causes a narrowing of the spinal canal and occurs most often in the neck and lower back. Its symptoms vary from one individual to another. Some people experience no symptoms at all. For others, it’s a constant struggle that affects their life on every level.

Spinal stenosis treatment may include braces, physiotherapy, medications, or surgery. A qualified physician will recommend the best course of action based on your symptoms and the severity of your condition.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

This disorder is common in adults 50 and older. As we age, our spine changes its shape. The normal wear-and-tear caused by aging affects the spinal canal where the spine’s nerve roots and the spinal cord are located. Over time, the spinal canal may narrow, putting pressure on your nerves. This leads to a variety of symptoms, such as:

Spinal stenosis treatment aims to relieve these symptoms and restore your quality of life. Surgery is only recommended when everything else has failed.

Causes and Risk Factors

This condition is part of the aging process. It cannot be prevented through diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes. However, it is possible to slow its onset and manage the degenerative process. Early treatment is the key.

Spinal stenosis affects approximately 10 percent of the population. It estimated that nearly half of Americans over 60 suffer from this disorder. Some individuals are more likely to develop spinal stenosis than others. Common risk factors include degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and metabolic bone disorders.

In rare cases, this spine disorder can be caused by an infection, tumors, Cushing’s syndrome, or hyperparathyroidism. Some people are born with a narrow spinal cord.

Does Spinal Stenosis Treatment Really Work?

Spinal stenosis treatment depends on where the narrowing has occurred. This condition may affect different parts of the spine, such as the lower back (lumbar stenosis), the neck (cervical stenosis), or the thoracic part of the spine. In general, those who develop these issues tend to become less active, which can lead to muscle loss and weakness. This, in turn, worsens their symptoms.

Physiotherapy encompasses exercises that help strengthen and stretch your muscles, improve your balance, and maintain spine flexibility. Studies have found no significant differences between physical therapy and surgery for pain and overall satisfaction up a two-year follow-up.

Depending on your symptoms, the physical therapist may recommend lumbar flexion exercises, treadmill walking, strength movements, static and dynamic postural exercises, or manual therapy. He may also create a workout program that can be safely done at home. If you have difficulty walking, you may need to wear a lumbar corset.

Pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, and opioids can help too. However, most medications carry side effects and only work short term. Physiotherapy, on the other hand, delivers lasting results and has no risks.

Before you consider surgery or medications, try physical therapy. This treatment method can change your life for the better. Check out our services and make an appointment today! Our therapists can help treat a wide range of problems, from spinal stenosis and herniated discs to hip and knee pain, sciatica, and balance disorders.

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