What is spinal stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, through which the extension of the central nervous system (spinal cord and spinal nerves) passes.
It can occur in any of the three major parts of the spine, and thus it can be classified into three major types, according to the spinal region it affects:
- Cervical stenosis affects the upper region of the back
- Thoracic spinal stenosis affects the middle of the back
- Lumbar spinal stenosis affects the lower, or lumbar section of the back
This condition can severely impact the quality of life of the sufferer, and if left untreated can worsen and lead to painful complications that are discussed below in more detail.
Causes of spinal stenosis
The primary cause of spinal stenosis can be attributed to wear and tear of the spinal column, and its adjacent structures. With time, the composition of the spine erodes due to the shock it has to absorb from everyday movement.
However, in addition to the wearing and tearing of the spine, other cases of spinal stenosis occur due to:
- Congenital defects, where people are born with a narrower spinal canal
- Injuries or a major trauma that damaged the structure of the spine
- Changes within the spine structure, such as the growth of bone spurs, or herniated discs
- Thickening ligaments along the spinal column may push into the spinal nerve roots and compress them
The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis include:
- Compression of the nerve roots or even of the spinal cord, which may be the main reason for the pain this condition causes
- People who suffer from spinal stenosis may experience pain and weakness in the back and/or neck, depending on where the narrowing of the spinal canal occurs
- Numbness, tingling and/or burning sensations in the neck, back or legs
- Difficulty with maintaining one’s balance while standing or walking
Complications of spinal stenosis
If spinal stenosis is not addressed as soon as it is detected, there is a chance for it to worsen and to lead to more serious symptoms.
Untreated spinal stenosis may lead to:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Loss of sensation in the back or legs
- Cauda equina syndrome, which leads to severe compression of the nerve roots in the lower back
How is spinal stenosis treated?
Because spinal stenosis can rapidly develop into a concerning matter, it is imperative to seek medical help and obtain a diagnosis to confirm whether or not the symptoms you experience are caused by spinal stenosis, and not other disorder.
Diagnosing spinal stenosis starts with asking about the patient’s medical history and having a physical examination that is carried out preferably by a spinal specialist. Sometimes, additional tests, such as a CT scan, are required to accurately determine the cause of a patient’s pain.
That being said, depending on the severity of the condition, one or more of the following approaches may be employed to manage, or treat spinal stenosis:
- Physical therapy to re-mobilise the spine in order to increase its flexibility and also to strengthen the core muscles, which in turn increases spinal stability.
- Painkillers in the form of medication or injections to temporarily manage the pain.
- Surgical intervention for people who have failed to respond to more conservative forms of treatment, or whose symptoms are so severe that they have a disabling effect on their life. This approach should only be taken as a last resort, given the high risk of postoperative complications.
Some cases of spinal stenosis can, however, be treated through minimally invasive approaches, such as by using a spinal decompression device, like the Spinal Backrack, to restore the natural structure of the spine and correct any abnormalities that lead to this condition.
Treat Spinal Stenosis at Home with the Help of Spinal Backrack Technology
The Spinal Backrack is a spinal decompression device that helps restore the natural distance between your vertebrae, reversing the process of compression on the spine caused by spinal stenosis. Through simple exercises, you can leave your symptoms in the past and embrace a pain-free life.
So if you want to take your recovery from spinal stenosis to the next level, and avoid invasive procedures as well as any side effects, join thousands of people who have already taken back control of their spinal health with the help of the Backrack!