The Chiropractic Spine Center sees patients frequently for a condition known as spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spaces within the spine. Spinal stenosis can result in pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine and occurs most often in the lower back, called lumbar stenosis, and the neck, called cervical stenosis.
Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness and usually worsen over time.
Evidence of spinal stenosis can be seen on an MRI or CT scan or from the symptoms, yet some people may not experience symptoms. Cervical stenosis causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in a hand, arm, foot, or leg, problems walking and balancing, and neck pain. Lumbar stenosis causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in a foot or leg, pain or cramping in the legs after standing for long periods of time or when walking, and back pain.
While some people are born with a small spinal canal, most cases of spinal stenosis are the result of something narrowing the open space in the spine, for example, the overgrowth of a bone or bone spurs can contribute to spinal stenosis because they may grow into the spinal canal.
Herniated disks result in the soft inner material escaping through cracks in the disks and pressing on the spinal cord or nerves. The ligaments of the vertebrae may bulge into the spinal canal after becoming stiff and thickened over time. While uncommon, tumors can form inside the spinal cord or in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae, pressing on the nerves. Finally, spinal injuries from some form of trauma can cause dislocations or fractures in one or more vertebrae. The spinal canal and its contents can easily be injured. Definitive diagnosis of spinal stenosis is done with radiology, which can be prescribed by your chiropractor.
At the Chiropractic Spine Center, we offer non-surgical spinal decompression, a more rigorous home exercise plan, ultrasound therapy, and soon we will offer non-surgical cold laser therapy.
Treatment of spinal stenosis varies depending on the location and severity of symptoms. Unless the case is severe and requires surgery or medication, your primary physician may simply monitor your condition and provide at-home remedies or physical therapy. Massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture are all forms of alternative medicines that are commonly used to treat pain from spinal stenosis.