16 May Chiropractic Treatment Can Be the Answer to Spinal Stenosis
About one-third of the US population is age 50 years or older, which means that the healthcare system has started to become inundated with patients that are experiencing age-related conditions like spinal stenosis. Age is one battle that we as humans will never win but with advances in medical prevention, diagnostics and treatments, we can age a little more gracefully as time goes on. Spinal stenosis is one such condition that develops as we age but there are some ways to combat its effects.
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of joint spaces in the spine, which ultimately puts pressure on the nerves that travel through this space.
Due to a variety of contributing factors, spinal stenosis most often occurs in the neck or lower back. While many will experience different symptoms, some people with spinal stenosis experience no symptoms at all but it all depends on the severity and location of the condition.
Types of Spinal Stenosis
- Cervical Stenosis– this condition occurs in the cervical spine (C1-C7 vertebrae), which is the neck.
- Lumbar Stenosis– the lower back or lumbar include L1-L5 vertebrae.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
- Arthritis– this is the most common cause of spinal stenosis in older individuals. Arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage (the shock absorbing material between bones).
- Osteoarthritis– spinal stenosis can occur when discs change, ligaments of the spine thicken or bone spurs develop.
- Herniated Discs– when discs crack, they can seep out and impinge on the spinal cord or nerves in the joint space.
- Injury– fractures or injuries that cause inflammation can limit the joint space in the spine.
- Tumors– if tumors or other tissue growths grow and touch the spinal cord or nerves, stenosis can occur.
- Paget’s Disease– this rare condition results in bones that grow abnormally large and brittle, which results in the narrowing of the spinal cavity.
These are common causes but some people are born with spinal stenosis or diseases that lead to it.
Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
While not everyone with spinal stenosis will experience symptoms, the most common ones are:
- Sciatica- shooting nerve pain down from lower back to legs
- Foot Drop- painful leg weakness that may cause the foot to “slap” on the ground when walking
- Loss of Bladder and Bowel Control
How is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed?
There are various medical diagnostic imaging tests that can determine and diagnose spinal stenosis and they are x-rays, MRI and CT scans.
Types of Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
Once you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, there are several courses of action that you can take with regards to treatment.
- Medication– often includes temporary painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and in more serious cases, muscle relaxants or anti-seizure medications can be used to calm muscle spasms and damaged nerves.
- Corticosteroid Injections– while not suggested frequently due to associated side effects, these injections help reduce inflammation for longer periods of time.
- Anesthetics– injections that act as a temporary “nerve block” for the pain.
- Exercise and/or braces
One treatment that is often left out of the doctor’s list of things to try is chiropractic treatment for Spinal Stenosis.
At Luxxey Chiropractic, we provide our patient’s with supplemental treatment options to help counteract the causes of spinal stenosis. By treating the underlying conditions that result in spinal stenosis, Dr. Colby Giles can help you get back to living a normal, pain-free life. Through spinal adjustments, stretches to increase flexibility and exercises to improve strength and posture, you can most likely avoid the other invasive treatment options. Call us today to start your chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis at 602-566-9642.