Spinal stenosis is a condition wherein the spinal canal starts to narrow. This condition can be caused by abnormalities or mechanical problems in an aging spine. It can or cannot result in limping, low-back pain or insensitiveness of the legs.
Stenosis is typically a degenerative condition. It means it can exist for several years without any evidences of pain and discomfort, but an accident or fall can trigger the aspect of stenotic pain. There are also some factors that can cause this condition like spinal cord tumor, dislocations, vertebral fractures, degenerative changes, developmental anomaly, congenital, abscess, expanding infection and thickened ligaments.
How is stenosis diagnosed?
In order to diagnose spinal stenosis, a doctor of chiropractic will determine the condition based on the physical examination, the history, the symptoms and other diagnostic procedure. In some cases some chiropractors may also request an x-ray and MRI imaging. However, MRI cannot predict the potential disability that this condition can cause. That is why electrodiagnostic study is reliable and effective way to establish the condition. If an infection or abscess had caused stenosis, a blood test will be performed. Imaging is effective for determining spinal tumors or vertebral tumors.
How is stenosis treated?
There are three options for treating this condition: conservative medical approach that involves analgesics, local heat, bed rest and muscle relaxants; chiropractic medical approach involves self-care techniques, exercise and manual manipulation; surgery is also an effective treatment for severe cases.
Unfortunately, stenosis is a long-term condition that cannot be permanently cured or treated. The only treatment that can be done are improvement and to maintain the condition for long period of time. Patients can consult a chiropractor for them to lessen the symptoms and have a more expected quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Stenosis
- Pseudoclaudication – the pain is being triggered by prolonged standing or walking that can be typically improved on a sitting on a forward leaning straighten position.
- Tingling, hot and cold feelings through the legs
Spasm and muscle weakness