Is my back pain
Due to Spinal Stenosis?
Our spine is made up of a series of small bones (vertebrae) with a tunnel that runs through it and small joint spaces at the sides between each vertebrae. Through these tunnels lie nerves that supply the entire body. When these joint spaces narrow, they can cause compression to the nerves running through them. It can happen anywhere along the spine but commonly in the lower back. There can be many reasons for this occurring like falls or tumours, but degeneration of the spinal joints or discs is a common cause.
In the early stages of spinal stenosis, someone may not present with any noticeable symptoms. However, as it progresses, someone may complain of back pain, burning, tingling, numbness, cramping or weakness in the legs. These symptoms occur more frequently in positions when the back is relatively extended, like walking and standing; whereby the narrowing is exaggerated and can cause more compression to the nerves. Bending forward postures usually assist in easing these symptoms.
In severe cases, there may be complaints of severe numbness or weakness in the legs or a loss of bowel and bladder control. In these instances, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
There are many conservative treatment options for spinal stenosis. Medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc. However, please seek a medical professional for advice as the treatment program varies for each individuals’ symptoms and one method may not work for everyone.
Typically, physiotherapy may address the following:
- Education on the condition and advice for activity modification
- Functional postural awareness
- Taping to improve posture
- Release of tight and overuse muscles with Shockwave Therapy or myofascial techniques
- Clinical Pilates
- Develop a personalised exercise program for the recruitment, activation and strengthening of specific trunk muscles
Conservative treatments attempt to reduce the symptoms of spinal stenosis but is unable to alter the anatomical changes in the spine. Most people respond well conservatively especially if appropriate treatment is initiated early. If no significant improvement is noticed in at least 6-12 weeks of conservative treatment, surgery may be discussed by your doctor if needed.
Physiotherapy For Spinal Stenosis
A physiotherapist will be able to evaluate your lifestyle and daily activities to offer advice and specific treatments for your recovery. Do seek some medical help early if you experience any of these symptoms to have an optimal chance of recovery.
Related Back Conditions
Does the condition described above match what you are experiencing? If not try viewing these other conditions.General Back Pain