By: Dr.St Jean
Maybe you have low back pain and sometimes you can’t walk. Most of your days are spent in fear, the more you try and do, the worse it is. You think there has to be a way to recover my health. In this article, we will look deeper and see if your low back pain is caused by stenosis as well as the interventions you can do address it.
What is Stenosis?
Stenosis is the narrowing of certain body channels or cavities. When we talked about your spine, it is when your spinal canal and something called your IVF (intervertebral foramina) or the space between two backbones start to narrow their space. Since your spinal canal is in your vertebral column where your spinal cord travels, anything that narrows the spinal canal would be a problem because it can press onto the spinal cord.
The same is true with narrowing of the IVF being the little holes in the side of the spine where the spinal nerves come out. Pain in this situation is right down where these nerves come out. That is a problem because these spinal nerves innervate your arms, upper extremities, lower extremities, and certain organs, etc. If you are having enough narrowing of these spaces, it is going to irritate the spinal nerves or the actual spinal cord which cause some pain and symptoms that are hallmark of spinal stenosis.
Who are most commonly affected?
Spinal stenosis tends to hit the older population, those who are about 50 and up. We see that consistently in the clinic and in research as well. However, there are exception, younger folks can also come in the clinic with spinal stenosis.
It does not mean that just because statistics presented it that it has to happen. You cannot say that you are not 50 and you cannot get it. This can definitely hit you.
If you are concerned about stenosis and low back pain or have other health inquiries, book your intro consult today at Unity Chiropractic Center in Lincoln Park, Chicago: http://unitychirocenter.com/wellness-center/.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
There are a variety of factors that can cause stenosis including but not limited to:
- Arthritis. This is the most common. Your entire spinal cord and all the bones that are stack up on one another in your back are kind of connected at different spots throughout. Where a bone meets another bone is called a joint. Now that there should be some cushioning between those joints. The cushioning is a cartilage. When that cartilage starts to break down, like it does in arthritis, the bones become closer together. As those bones contact one another and they rub, new bones start to form and grow in areas they are never suppose to. Thus, causing stenosis.
- Disk herniation. Not as common as arthritis, but pretty common. If the cushions between the disks are cracked, the jelly-like material inside can seep out and press on your spinal cord or nerves. Again, causing stenosis.
- Space-occupying lesions. Definitely not as common as the other two. Example of these are tumors which are abnormal growth of tissue. If this is growing in one of these cavities, it can start to narrow the available space within that cavity.
- Paget’s disease. In this disease, bone starts to get big and brittle. If the bones get very big, the spaces that are supposed to be there when the bones are not big, are going to be narrow.
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
Some of the symptoms that you might experience if you have spinal stenosis would be the following:
Low back pain. You will definitely experience low back pain around the stenotic area. Oftentimes, patients come in the clinic and say they have pain going down the leg. It may be numbness and tingling and/or sharp, stabbing, or electrical-type pain. Usually, they also experience shooting pain down the leg, over the buttock and thigh. Hallmark of stenosis is pain when walking, especially too long.
Pain relief when leaning forward or seated. This is really important because sitting or leaning forward would actually aggravate the pain in other causes of low back pain. In spinal stenosis, sitting is usually relieving and so is leaning forward. We see a lot of stenotic patient saying the only time they can walk is when they are in the grocery store. The reason for this is because they are leaning over in their cart which is providing some relief.
Treatments of Spinal Stenosis
Treatment depends on the degree of narrowing in the spinal canal or IVF as well as the level of pain and the symptomatology. Patients can come here in the clinic to be referred for surgery, but then there is a whole bunch of other patients that come who are actually eligible for some noninvasive natural-type treatments that we do.
Steps to consider
The first thing you got to do is get an exam. If you have low back pain, come in the clinic, get an exam/evaluation, and I will be straight up with you. I will tell you exactly what you need.
We are not in the business of keeping you around if you do not need to be as much as we like your company. We are going to tell you what you need most. If that is surgery, then we are going to tell you. We will just see you after that for post-surgical rehab. If you don’t need surgery, then we will discuss the available natural options for you.
The main point here, is if you think your low back pain might be caused by stenosis – this isn’t something to mess with. You really want to grab the bull by the horns and take care of it before it gets worse.
Types of treatment
There are host of things that we could do to get you out of pain without surgery, without drugs, and without injections, if you are the right candidate for that: therapeutic exercise or rehabilitation, soft tissue physiotherapies, brain-based therapies, nutrition and adjustments if necessary.
Then of course, it just comes down to are you going to follow our recommendations. If you think that your low back pain is being caused by spinal stenosis, there are a lot of things available to you, but the first thing you got to do is schedule an exam, whether that is with myself or someone else. If you want more information on spinal stenosis, we got some great videos on it and a bunch of other videos on back pain and other areas of your body that might be relevant too. Just click our video link below to go to our video blog. You can watch all kinds of information.
If you want to work with myself and get to the root cause here and get out of pain, then go ahead and click the schedule a consult link, right under this video as well. I’ll look forward to meeting you in the clinic soon and assisting you get your life back.
I hope you found this helpful and useful. If you are concerned about stenosis and low back pain or have other health inquiries, book your intro consult today at Unity Chiropractic Center in Lincoln Park, Chicago: http://unitychirocenter.com/wellness-center/.