What is Spinal Stenosis?
The human back is divided into three parts. The cervical vertebrae (upper), thoracic vertebrae (middle) and lumbar vertebrae (lower). The vertebrae are responsible for carrying and protecting the nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body. At the same time, the back of these spinal bones form a hollow passage called the spinal canal. Spinal Stenosis is a condition that causes the narrowing of the spinal canal. This results in the space between the vertebrae being reduced, which in turn can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
There are three types of spinal stenosis and they are named based on the two regions they affect, namely the lumbar spine and the cervical spine. Lumbar spinal stenosis, as the name suggests, affects the lumbar region of your spine, or the lower back, as is more commonly known. Thoracic stenosis affects the thoracic spine. Cervical spinal stenosis affects the top part of your spine.
Spinal stenosis tends to occur in people of older age, as the spine undergoes degenerative changes. However, it may sometimes be present in younger people who have been born with a small spinal canal. Although this is a rare occurrence, it can affect some people nevertheless. Apart from these two factors, there are other notable causes of spinal stenosis that are mentioned below:
- Wear and tear of the facet joints.
- Bone spurs (or bone overgrowth).
- Spinal injuries that can damage the nerve roots.
- Tumours that can form inside the spinal cord.
People with this condition may experience spinal stenosis symptoms such as:
- Trouble walking long distances.
- Trouble with keeping your balance.
- Pressure and pain in your back.
- Neck pain (caused by cervical stenosis) or back pain (caused by thoracic or lumbar stenosis).
- Tingling, cramping or weakness in the legs.
- In the most severe spinal stenosis cases, people might have trouble controlling the bladder.
- Some people may also feel burning pain going from the buttocks to the legs, indicating sciatica.
Apart from these symptoms, complications can sometimes appear, depending on the type of spinal stenosis you suffer from. Pressure on the nerves in the lumbar region nerves can also cause nerve pain that extends down the hip, thigh, leg, or even foot. Spinal stenosis walking problems may also cause changes in gait due to leg pain.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Diagnosing this condition is a rather straightforward process, that begins with your physician conducting a physical examination, where he/she takes a close look at the exact area that is being affected. He/she will usually check for any physical symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, and if there is a cause for concern that may indicate the presence of a more severe issue, you may be referred to have further tests, such as a CT scan.
Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, there are mainly three types of traditional treatments available to choose from. Some are more invasive than others and not all are suitable for everyone. However, just like with any medical condition, it is advised that, if possible, you should start with the most minimally invasive method first and gradually find something that works for you. Below you can find the most common forms of treatment for this condition, from the least to the most recommended option.
- Spinal surgery: This is the most invasive option on the list and should only be perused in most serious scenarios. Although there are multiple types of surgery available to correct this condition, they are all equally invasive. One form of surgery includes the widening of the spinal canal. Another form of spinal stenosis surgery for spinal stenosis is called spinal fusion, where two or more vertebrae are fused together. Because of the natures of such procedures, surgery is usually only recommended as a last resort.
- Medicinal: Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs help combat spinal stenosis pain, but do not address the narrowing of the canal itself. Steroid injections also fall into this category.
- Physical Therapy: This is the least invasive method out of the three. Physical therapy is comprised of exercises that include strengthening your back, stomach and leg muscles. Safely performing these activities is crucial and medical equipment such as braces are recommended to support your back. Stretching and massages may also help with spinal stenosis.
In addition to back braces, there are other medical devices that you can use to enhance the benefits of physical therapy. One such device is the Backrack. Below you can find a detailed description of how it can help heal spinal stenosis.
Backrack Device To Treat and Prevent Spinal Stenosis!
The Backrack excels at spinal decompression, which helps reverse one of the main causes of back pains worldwide – spinal compression. Compression of the spine itself causes the spinal column to be squashed, and often tends to occur along with spinal stenosis. Reversing compression of the spine may also help relieve spinal stenosis, along with the symptoms it is causing.
The Backrack helps you straighten your spine, bringing it back to its natural length and shape. It does this with the help of special nodules on the rack. As you lay back on the device you will find that it perfectly fits your back and that’s by design. It is designed to perfectly mirror the human spine and its curvature. Built with sturdy materials, it can efficiently provide you with support while doing your exercise.
Medical professionals are already using it to help their patients and you can do the same from the comfort of your home. It is compact and easy to use. However, you won’t need the help of another person to use it, unlike many other products on the market. To help you, we have created a variety of video instructions that suit your needs.
Backrack doesn’t only enable you to be able to manage your back pain but also stop any more complications from occurring.
All things considered, a key takeaway here is that staying healthy is imperative to avoid back problems in the first place. Getting good exercise that strengthens your lower back keeps your spine more flexible and stable.
Aerobic exercise should also be on your to-do list. Having a good posture while sleeping, sitting and lifting goes a long way in maintain a healthy back as well. Even weight from being obese can lead to back problems, so maintaining or getting to a healthy weight is guaranteed to improve your back pain problems.
Author: Spinal Backrack