10 May Spinal Stenosis
The spine runs from your neck to your lower back and the bones of the spine form the spinal canal, which protects the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is a chronic condition which occurs when the space around the spinal cord becomes narrow. The narrowing of the spinal canal causes pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine and reduces blood flow to the affected area. This condition often occurs in the neck and lower back. Thus, spinal stenosis is split into two categories; cervical stenosis which is the narrowing of the spine that occurs in the neck and lumbar stenosis, the most common type of spinal stenosis and appears with the narrowing of the spine in the lower back.
Osteoarthritis and bone overgrowth: the wear and tear damaged from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones stimulates the formation of bone spurs to grow into the spinal cord.
Herniated disks: due to aging, cracks to the exterior of a spinal disk may allow some of the soft inner matter to escape and apply pressure to the spinal cord and nerves.
Thickened ligaments: the cords that help to hold the bones of the spine together can become stiff and thicken overtime. This thickening can cause the ligaments to bulge into the spinal cord, reducing the space around it.
Tumours: abnormal growths that can be formed inside the spinal cord. The membranes of these growths cover the spinal cord decreasing the space around it.
Spinal injuries: car accidents and other forms of trauma can cause dislocations and fractures to the vertebrae. Displaced bone fragments from a spinal fracture can damage the spinal cord. Swelling of tissue near the spine can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Spinal stenosis symptoms can start to occur gradually and then worsen over time. They also vary depending on the type of stenosis and nerves affected. The symptoms often present when walking over a distance. The discomfort will only start to ease when you are resting.
Cervical stenosis symptoms:
- Weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation in a hand, arm, foot, or leg.
- Problems with walking and balance.
- Neck pain
- In severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction.
Lumbar stenosis symptoms:
- Weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation in a foot or leg.
- Pain or cramping in one or both legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk, which usually eases when you bend forward or sit.
- Back pain.
Osteopathy in conjunction with acupuncture or dry needling will be effective in reliving the symptoms of this condition. Spinal stenosis is a chronic condition that develops over a period of time, it will a take few treatment sessions to reduce or relieve the discomfort. Osteopathy can help manage the spinal stenosis systems and often eases the need for surgery.
At OsteoVision we specialise in treating lower back pain. Book an appointment with us if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and a member of our team will assist you with a treatment plan, that is specific to your age, fitness level and diagnosis.
Holve Osteopaths. 2021. Spinal Stenosis – Holve Osteopaths. [online] Available at: <https://holve-osteopaths.co.uk/spinal-stenosis/> [Accessed 8 June 2021].
Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020. Spinal stenosis – Symptoms and causes. [online] Mayo Clinic. Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961> [Accessed 8 June 2021].
McIntosh, F., 2013. Spinal Stenosis. [online] Essentialosteopathy.co.uk. Available at: <https://www.essentialosteopathy.co.uk/blog/back-pain/spinal-stenois/> [Accessed 8 June 2021].