What is Spinal Stenosis?
- Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to compression of the nerves that run through that canal. Stenosis usually occurs in the low back and in the neck.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by degenerative changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can cause disc changes, thickening of the ligaments of the spine, and bone spurs, which can put pressure on your spinal cord and spinal nerves.
- Most people with spinal stenosis are over the age of 50. Although, as spinal stenosis can occur in younger people, other causes should be considered such as herniated discs, trauma, congenital spinal deformity (i.e. scoliosis), Paget’s disease, or tumors. Spinal imaging can help differentiate these causes.
Some people with spinal stenosis may not have any symptoms. Others may experience: pain, tingling, numbness, stiffness, muscle weakness, trouble walking, or back pain that can worsen over time.
Lumbar stenosis is typically associated with pain while walking, which can be alleviated by bending over or sitting.
- NSAIDS and/or nerve pain medication
- Physical Therapy
- Steroid Injections
- Surgery if necessary
Physical therapy and exercise is an important component of spinal stenosis treatment to help alleviate pain and improve strength, flexibility, and posture. While spinal stenosis exercises are not a cure, physical therapy can help patients manage their symptoms and avoid becoming additionally debilitated from inactivity.
If anything above describes symptoms you may be experiencing, call your Doctor or your Physical Therapist here at Physical Solutions!