Pain from Cramped Spaces: Spinal Stenosis Explained
The spinal canal is a freeway; it sends messages to and from the brain to communicate all the body’s systems’ function, performance, and behavior. The channel is an open space down the middle of the spine, protected by the vertebrae and their spongy discs. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of that canal, which can cause congestion in the messaging paths.
Many doctors and well-wishers suggest invasive surgery or pain medication to treat the symptoms; however, there’s a safer and more natural approach. Our expert chiropractors have been successfully treating back and neck pain in Norwalk for over 20 years. We personalize treatments, get to the bottom of the pain’s origin, target adjustment techniques, and help patients understand the lifestyle changes needed to treat, manage, and prevent symptoms from recurring.
Spine Narrowing Types: Foraminal Stenosis and Central Canal Stenosis
The type of spinal stenosis is determined by the exact location of the narrowing and nerve compression. The two main types of stenosis are the foraminal and central canal. Foraminal is also called lateral stenosis because lateral means side, and this happens to the side of the spinal canal.
The foramen is a bony opening where a nerve can pass between two vertebrae in the spinal canal. Central canal stenosis narrows the center foramen, compressing or inflaming the canal rather than a single nerve hole.
Causes, Risk Factors & Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Spine narrowing is usually caused by herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and ligament buckling or thickening. It can also be caused by:
· Bony overgrowths or spurs from wear-and-tear damage
· Spinal cord injuries from accidents or trauma
The primary risk factors of developing spinal stenosis include:
· Past (or current) history of trauma or accident injury
· Scoliosis or other congenital spinal deformity
· Genetic diseases that affect the bones and muscles
Neck or back pain is the most common symptom of spinal stenosis; however, many often have other signs as well, including:
· Numbness and tingling in the extremities
· Weakness in the back, neck, arms, legs, feet, or hands
· Balance problems or difficulty walking
· Bowel or bladder dysfunction
· Painful leg cramping while standing for long periods or walking; often eased when sitting or bending forward.
How Our Chiropractors Address Spinal Stenosis
What can a chiropractor do to help with this constellation of pain symptoms from spinal stenosis? First, there are a few things we like our patients at Slovin Chiropractic Center to know about treating a narrowed spine:
1. Spinal stenosis is a common finding in every chiropractor’s office and we can manage it effectively and safely; however, it takes lots of effort on your part in self-care. Dr. Slovin will help you make a plan you can follow.
2. Chiropractic care will not make the spinal stenosis worse. A review of studies over the last 25 years has shown evidence that adjustments improve symptoms and offer many other benefits.
3. Spinal stenosis cannot be “cured,” but we can safely manage it with targeted adjustments that realign the spine and body’s musculoskeletal infrastructure.
Adjustment and treatment techniques are specific to your body’s unique needs and condition. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to chiropractic care for spinal stenosis. Chiropractic is like any other medical science—it’s a search for answers; there are no rules written in stone for others to follow. At our Norwalk clinic, you’ll get answers from experts who’re committed to finding ways to improve the body’s natural ability to heal. Don’t keep suffering. If you have pain in the back or extremities, make an appointment with Dr. Slovin today.