New Non-Invasive Treatment Option For Spinal Stenosis
Our bodies go through changes as we age. In the spine, the vertebrae may develop arthritis, and the intervertebral discs may bulge. All of these changes, alone or in combination, may lead to spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis is a medical condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord and nerves. This is usually due to the common occurrence of spinal arthritis that occurs with aging. It can also sometimes be caused by a herniated disc or bulging disc.
Lumbar Stenosis vs. Cervical Stenosis
• In lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms of sciatica – tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs – especially with activity.
• Spinal stenosis pain in the neck (cervical spinal stenosis) can be far more dangerous by compressing the spinal cord. Spinal cord stenosis may lead to serious symptoms, including major body weakness or even paralysis.
Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
The most common symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis include leg pain (sciatica) that may be accompanied by:
• Low back pain,
• Leg numbness and tingling, and/or
• Limitations in walking.
Although, occasionally the leg pain and stenosis symptoms will come on acutely, they generally develop over the course of several years. The longer a patient with spinal stenosis stands or walks, the worse the leg pain will get.
Flexing forward or sitting will open the spinal canal and relieve the leg pain and other symptoms, but they recur if the patient gets back into an upright posture. Numbness and tingling can accompany the pain, but true weakness is rare. An older person leaning over the handle of their shopping cart while making short stumbling steps often has spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Treatment
Conventional treatments for spinal stenosis include:
• Activity modification,
• Epidural injections, or,
A New Treatment Option Available
A new treatment, called spinal decompression therapy, is now available. It is designed to take the pressure off the compressed nerves by slowly and gently stretching the spine at a certain angle followed by cycles of partial relaxation. This pattern, combined with the correct patient position, helps decompress the area of the spine with stenosis. When combined with a core-stabilization program and activity modification, patient outcomes are positive.
Non-surgical spinal decompression is a safe and effective treatment for herniated discs, bulging discs, pinched nerves, sciatica, radiating arm pain, degenerative disc disease, leg pain, and facet syndrome.