Situation: Spinal Stenosis occurs when new bone growth and ligaments surrounding the spinal cord thicken. Spinal stenosis is typically diagnosed later in life and results most often from the progression of other degenerative conditions such as degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease.
Causes: The spinal cord rests within a rounded canal through the bones of the spine. Free of obstructions the cord functions properly. But over many years, the progression of degenerative diseases can create instability in the spine. The body’s natural response is to create new bone and thicken the ligaments to compensate for this instability. Unfortunately, this new bone and ligament growth sometimes clogs or blocks the spinal canal causing neurological symptoms such as pain, weakness, and numbness.
Symptoms: Symptoms vary depending on where the stenosis has occurred. In the neck, burning, achiness, arm weakness, tingling into the hands, and neck pain are common. In the lower back, a dull, achy constant back pain can occur along with a weakness of the legs and a tingling into the feet. In severe cases, spinal stenosis will be felt on both sides of the body.
Treatment: Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease. In most cases, conservative care can be utilized under the supervision of your chiropractor. Chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy may be used in treatment. In severe or unresponsive, cases a referral to an orthopedist may be appropriate.