Spinal stenosis is when the spinal cord or the spinal nerve is compressed due to the narrowing of the spinal canal. The spinal canal is formed by the different bones of your spine, which act to protect the nerves of your spinal cord from damage.
As the spinal canal puts more pressure on your spinal nerves, you will experience warning signals sent to your brain that take the form of shooting pain.
Spinal stenosis can appear in two forms:
- Cervical stenosis develops in the part of your spinal canal near your neck.
- Lumbar stenosis is when your spinal canal starts to narrow in your lower back. This type is considered the most common form of spinal stenosis.
Unfortunately, being diagnosed with one form of spinal stenosis does not keep you from being diagnosed with the other form. You can suffer from both types at the same time and experience more pain.
What are the causes and symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is common in adults 50+, especially among those who live a sedentary lifestyle.
There are many possible causes:
- Herniated Discs
- Tumors or cysts located on or around the spinal canal
- Poor posture
- Injury or surgery to the spine
- Ligaments that support the vertebrae start to thicken
- Narrow spinal canal since birth
Depending on what type of spinal stenosis you have, you may experience anywhere from one to all of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the neck and lower back muscles
- Numbness in your arms, legs, and torso
- Body Weakness, especially in the arms, legs, and hands
- Loss of sexual function
- Reduced bladder and bowel function
- Pain while walking and difficulties keeping balance
Is Spinal Stenosis curable?
Currently, no cure has been discovered for spinal stenosis. However, there are different pathways of pain relief, including chiropractic care, that can immensely improve your quality of life.
How can your chiropractor help?
A 2012 study followed a 75-year old patient suffering from spinal stenosis as he began seeing a chiropractor. After only 4 visits, the patient had a noticeable decrease in pain in his right thigh and lower left leg. Over a 3-month period, he visited his chiropractor 16 times, and he only reported experiencing only a minimal amount of pain in his buttocks, with the pain in his legs completely disappearing thereon after.
Your chiropractor will have an open discussion with you about your condition and what symptoms you experience regularly. Based on this information, he or she will devise the best treatment plan for you that will result in the highest amount of relief.
Here is how a professional chiropractor will alleviate your pain in just a few sessions:
- Improve your posture – Although it will not cure your spinal stenosis, correcting your posture will alleviate a lot of your pain.
- Realign your neck and spine to alleviate pain and pressure.
- Adjustments and stretching temporarily lengthen the spine to decrease pain.
- Your chiropractor will encourage you to stay active so that your spinal muscles do not deteriorate further.
Most patients will experience immediate pain relief after their first chiropractic treatment. The positive effects will not plateau but will aid you in minimizing pain throughout your battle with spinal stenosis.
In extreme cases, you will have to undergo surgery to alleviate the pain and symptoms that accompany spinal stenosis. Visiting your chiropractor in a timely manner will not only alleviate pain but stop your condition from getting worse.
That is why it is essential to take steps and visit chiropractic therapy as soon as you are diagnosed. If you would like to discuss your potential treatment options with one of our chiropractors, call us today at 734-838-0353 (Garden City), or 248-862-2226 (West Bloomfield).