Understanding Spinal Stenosis


Spinal stenosis is a common back issue that occurs most often as a result of aging and wear and tear on the spine. It is recognized when the openings in the spine begin to narrow, putting pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord. The ensuing pain can range in degree of severity, but there is undoubtedly a level of discomfort that spinal stenosis patients experience. So how is spinal stenosis treated, and can chiropractic help?

Anatomy of Stenosis

As mentioned above, spinal stenosis is usually the result of aging. Over time, wear and tear on the spine can cause the spinal canals to narrow. Arthritis, osteoporosis, accident trauma, or spinal injury can also lead to stenosis. While spinal stenosis can occur at any place on the spine, it is most commonly experienced in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions.

Signs and Symptoms

The most obvious sign of spinal stenosis is pain. It can manifest in a variety of ways, but one commonality between the majority of people with spinal stenosis is discomfort when standing. Numbness and tingling in the extremities is another symptom. Pain can radiate to the legs and buttocks, causing weakness and limiting the ability to move freely.

Chiropractic Intervention

Chiropractic helps address spinal stenosis by treating the cause. The excessive pressure that is put on the nerves leads to the pain and discomfort, so chiropractors adjust the spine to relieve some of that pressure, and promote proper nervous flow and function. In addition, supporting spinal structures like muscles and ligaments can compensate for the problem, so chiropractors also work to realign these structures so they can do their jobs correctly.

If you think you have spinal stenosis, contact your chiropractor to start experiencing real and lasting relief.  A thorough consult can help the chiropractor identify the position of the problem, and work to treat it directly.


*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*

Story Credit: Ask the Doc: Can chiropractic help stenosis? By Dr. Philip Schalow

Photo Credit: Spine Cervical and Upper Thoracics by Michael Dorausch. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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