Physiotherapy

SPINAL STENOSIS

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal cord in the neck or the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, thereby leading to sciatica and leg tingling, weakness, or numbness. Additionally, arm pain is a typical symptom of cervical spinal stenosis. For cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, difficulty with coordination often occurs, creating pain and long term issues.

 

Stenosis treatment may include non-surgical options from chiropractors and physiotherapists, designed to contain and ease the pain.

Symptoms Of Spinal Stenosis?

Symptoms usually develop over time as the nerves become more compressed. Patients may also face issues such as:

  • Leg or arm weakness.

  • Lower back pain in common positions, i.e. walking or sitting.

  • Numbness spreading in your legs or buttocks.

  • Difficulty in maintaining balance.

 

Sitting in a chair usually helps to relieve these symptoms. You may require additional consultation from trusted physiotherapists and chiropractors. However, symptoms will also return with periods of standing or walking.

What Are The Causes Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is commonly caused by ageing. Degenerative processors occur throughout the body as it ages, and this may cause the tissue in your spine to thicken. This, in turn, causes your bones to get bigger, compressing the nerves. Conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may also contribute to spinal stenosis due to inflammation. 

 

In addition, those born with small spinal canals may also experience spinal stenosis when unusual occurrences happen in the narrow open space within the spine.

 

Other causes of spinal stenosis may include:

  • Overgrowth of bone. Wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones can prompt the formation of bone spurs, which can grow into the spinal canal. Paget’s disease, a bone disease that usually affects adults, also can cause bone overgrowth in the spine.

  • Herniated discs. The soft cushions that act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae tend to dry out with age. Cracks in a disc’s exterior may allow some of the soft inner material to escape, compressing the spinal cord or nerves.

  • Thickened ligaments. The tough cords that help hold the bones of your spine together can become stiff and thickened over time. These thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal.

  • Tumours. Abnormal growths can form inside the spinal cord, within the membranes that cover the spinal cord or in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae. These are uncommon and identifiable on spine imaging with MRI or CT scans.

  • Spinal injuries. Car accidents and other traumatic incidents can cause dislocations or fractures of one or more vertebrae. Displaced bone from a spinal fracture may damage the contents of the spinal canal. Swelling of nearby tissue immediately after back surgery also can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Spinal Stenosis Prevention Tips

It is impossible to cure spinal stenosis but can be slowed down by:

  • Regular exercise

  • Regular stretching to increase range of motion

  • Maintaining good posture

  • Managing your weight

  • Avoid smoking and smokers