Many people are diagnosed with a condition called spinal stenosis. This article will discuss what this condition entails and possible natural treatment.
Stenosis is a medical term that simply means there is an abnormal narrowing of an opening of the body. For instance, hardening of the arteries would be a form of stenosis that narrows the opening of the blood vessel. Another example would be a large cyst or polyp causing intestinal tract stenosis. Spinal stenosis simply means that the spinal canal is narrowed which might cause pressure on the spinal cord.
Let’s delve into a bit of human anatomy to learn more about this. The human spine is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae. These bones have a central canal which we know of as the spinal canal. This canal is in the shape of an oval. It provides a passageway for our spinal cord. We know that our brain is in our skull. The bottom of the brain narrows down and becomes our spinal cord. The spinal cord descends through the spinal canal. On either side of the spinal vertebrae there are openings which allow spinal nerves to exit between the vertebrae and go to various areas of the body.
Normally there is ample room within the spinal canal for the spinal cord. However, there are situations in which the spinal canal can narrow leading to stenosis. If someone has trauma to their neck from a whiplash accident we’re aware that this can lead to a buildup of excess bone growth such as spurs and arthritis. This buildup of the bone can narrow the spinal canal. Another example of a cause of spinal stenosis would be someone who does extreme physical labor such as a construction worker or a nursing home aid. These folks tend to have excessive repetitive stress to their lower back. Over many years this can also lead to excessive bone buildup causing spine stenosis. Many people develop protruding, bulging or herniated discs which also can extend into the spinal canal and impinge upon the spinal cord. All these are common examples of causes of spinal stenosis.
If there is spinal stenosis in the neck, also called the cervical spine, a person might note limited neck motions, soreness and achiness in the neck and possibly numbness and tingling into the upper extremities. Should spinal stenosis occur in the lower back it can cause back pain and leg pain.
Traditional medical care for spinal stenosis includes pain and anti-inflammatory medications, spinal injections and surgery. Each of these are invasive and have known side effects.
Chiropractic care is a gentle, safe, natural method one can investigate for spinal stenosis treatment. Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to analyze the spine. They check for misaligned and improperly moving vertebrae. They can evaluate x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. If there is arthritis, bone spurs and disc abnormalities which is causing spinal stenosis chiropractors will determine where in the spine it is located and to what degree it is causing a patient’s pain. By utilizing chiropractic adjustments to realign the spinal bones chiropractors may be able to relieve irritation to the spinal joints and nerves. For many people suffering from spinal stenosis this can give them some pain relief.
It should be said that if degenerative changes such as spurs, arthritis and degenerating discs exist the chiropractor will not be able to reverse those structural abnormalities. But for 125 years chiropractors have been able to give patients varying pain relief for spinal stenosis conditions.