Are you suffering from chronic or worsening back pain? If yes, it may be possible that you have spinal stenosis. This is a serious problem, and one must get treatment on time. The narrowing of the spinal cord canal or the nerve root canal is called spinal stenosis.
The condition may result in back pain, leg pain, and much more. It can also give tingling or numbness sensations. There might also be chances of paralysis in extreme cases. A majority of folks who seek conventional treatment might need surgery later.
If your diagnosis report says you have spinal stenosis, you can visit a chiropractor for therapy. The write-up is everything about how can a chiropractor help with spinal stenosis. But before jumping onto that, let us learn more about spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis In Detail
Our spine is made of 24 bones (vertebrae) supporting the body. These bones also house the spinal cord in a channel (spinal canal). Either side of the spine has openings that let the spinal nerves exit the spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis is a condition wherein these spaces become narrow and put a strain on the spinal cord as well as nerve roots. When these spaces become narrow, it results in irritation and inflammation. Not receiving proper treatment may cause scarring and a permanent loss of function.
Signs Of Spinal Stenosis
Below are the signs that one may feel because of spinal stenosis:
- Numbness in the lower back and legs
- Pain and numbness in the back and neck
- Having trouble while moving
- Problems with stability and balance
- Loss of sexual function
- Pain in legs while running
- Leg cramps
- Abnormal bladder or bowel function
You may feel all these signs in either your lower or upper back. However, this depends on the area of the spine where the stenosis has happened.
Why Does Spinal Stenosis Happen?
Spinal stenosis is likely to happen due to certain degenerative conditions. These include degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and ligament thickening or buckling. Here is a breakdown:
Degenerative Disc Disease
The spaces between bones turn narrow when the disc between vertebrae breaks or becomes dehydrated. This results in a strain on nerves when they go out of the spinal canal. This disease may also be responsible for bulging discs. While a disc bulges into the spinal canal, it creates pressure on the spine.
Osteoarthritis has a significant impact on your spine’s cartilage. The vertebrae can strain the spine and nerve roots when they become thin and weaken. In the place where the cartilage has become extremely thin, the bones might rub together, leading to the development of osteophytes.
Ligament Thickening or Buckling
Many connective tissues are around the spinal cord, passing through the spinal canal. These tissues may become thick or hard into the bone in certain conditions.
As these ligaments become hard or thick, it lessens the spacing in the spinal canal. It compresses the spinal cord and nerve roots. These connective tissues loosen and might buckle due to some genetic diseases. A narrow point may also crop up in the spinal canal.
Tumors, scoliosis, and other spinal deformities also create narrow points in the spinal canal.
Who Is A Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a doctor who offers a cure for any bone, muscle, joint, or dysfunction. He is well-versed in treating strains, aches, and creaks. If you are suffering from any musculoskeletal system problem, reach out to a chiropractor immediately. You can receive alternative therapies that do not entail any prescription medications.
Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis
A chiropractor can take a physical test to diagnose spinal stenosis. He will also discuss your symptoms and observe movements like walking. With diagnostic imaging tools, the chiropractor can diagnose spinal stenosis in the spine or neck.
A computed tomography (CT) scan or X-ray can also give a detailed picture of your spinal cord. It lets your chiropractor spot the site where the spinal column has narrowed.
Conventional treatments or medication might give symptomatic respite. However, they don’t always lessen the pressure applied to the nerves. Also, they do not even prevent the development of the degenerative process.
Chiropractic care can aid in lessening the pressure on the nerves when reviving your range of motion and alleviating pain. It is a clinically proven treatment that a patient can choose for curing spinal stenosis. It is among the best alternatives and natural methods.
The techniques used in chiropractic care include spinal decompression therapy, spinal adjustments, traction methods, and more. All of these help alleviate the symptoms without the side effects of medicines or surgery complications.
Chiropractic Care Types
Age and general wearing of the spine are interconnected with spinal stenosis. Some medical experts can prescribe surgical procedures for its treatment, while others may ask to get chiropractic care. Here are a few types of chiropractic care that can help people suffering from spinal stenosis:
Flexion distraction is a kind of spinal decompression intended to pull apart the spine’s vertebrae. It reduces the pressure from the spinal discs between vertebrae and makes more space within the spine. Thus, it leads to alleviation of the spinal cord’s narrowing.
Narrowing of the space within the spine can result from poor spinal alignment. It raises the odds of spinal stenosis. With chiropractic adjustments, one can improve the alignment. To execute this method, a chiropractor exerts a controlled force on the joints using their hands or specialized equipment.
Percussor therapy has its roots in the massage sciences. This technique can stimulate blood circulation and ease muscle strain. Besides, it can help raise your range of motion and lessen pain.
Top Reasons to Opt for Chiropractic Care For Spinal Stenosis
According to research, chiropractic care successfully eases symptoms of spinal stenosis. It can also help the patients suffering from Arthritis. So, if your spinal stenosis is interconnected with Arthritis, chiropractic care can provide relief in both conditions.
Below are some of the reasons to choose chiropractic care for spinal stenosis:
- It is safe, and there is no involvement of any cuts or anesthesia.
- Unlike surgery, chiropractic treatment offers quicker relief.
- The patients can use chiropractic interventions for a longer period.
Treating Spinal Stenosis With Surgery Vs. Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic Care for the treatment of spinal stenosis is a non-invasive procedure. The patient first undergoes a complete diagnosis. Later, the chiropractor detects the affected areas of the spine and directs manual/machine-assisted spinal manipulations onto those areas.
Since it is non-invasive, chiropractic treatment is highly preferable. Also, patients take less time to recover following the treatment, and the cost is also not very expensive.
On the contrary, surgery for spinal stenosis might involve the removal of a part of your vertebrae. It will take away all the strain from your nerves. Moreover, the surgeon might have to expand the spinal spaces where the nerves exit. All these can be done in various parts of your spinal cord. Bone grafts or metal implants might also be used afterward to connect the affected areas of your spine. Surgical procedures can pose a risk sometimes due to their invasive nature. The producer or the internal alteration can go wrong, which may result in post-surgery complications. These are quite costly, and patients take a longer time to recover.
Treating Spinal Stenosis With Medications Vs. Chiropractic Care
The main intent of chiropractic care is to cure spinal stenosis without any prescription medicine. This is achievable with manual spine adjustment, stretches, and other therapies. With chiropractic care, you can also deal with pain through massage.
Chiropractic care aims to go straight to the root problem and address it. This is a lasting solution with no adverse effects of continual abuse of medications.
Medicines For Spinal Stenosis
Mostly, OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medicines are used to treat spinal stenosis. A few examples are as follows:
Some kinds of these can aid with chronic pain. One of the most common types of antidepressants is Amitriptyline.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs aid in lowering pain and inflammation. Some of the most common over-the-counter NSAIDs are Naproxen, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen.
Your doctor might recommend you take anti-seizure drugs to ease pain caused by damaged nerves.
Analgesics can help in easing pain. However, these are not effective in inflammation. The most common Analgesic is Acetaminophen, which is used to treat spinal stenosis.
If you feel no benefits from these medications, your doctor might recommend something more potent- for example, Opiate. It is a drug that is effective in giving temporary respite from pain. However, the drug can be harmful if you overdose. This is addictive and might bring lots of health effects.
Injections For Spinal Stenosis
Medical experts may prescribe the following injections for spinal stenosis:
These are anesthetics that the doctors use around the damaged nerves. The reactions to these injections vary from patient to patient. There can be possibilities for long-term relief, short-term relief, or no relief.
Corticosteroids, also known as epidural injection, can be injected into the area near your spine cord. This type of injection is given under the supervision of an anesthesiologist or other specialist.
What Are The Alternative Treatments For Spinal Stenosis?
Many patients go for alternative therapies for spinal stenosis. The most common ones are:
Acupuncture has been in existence for ages. There is a strong belief that the human body has specific energy points, each associated with specific parts. The practice is carried out by applying pressure using needles for activating the points. This aids in easing pain and health complications.
Acupuncture is not effective in reversing spinal stenosis. But it can lessen the back pain that you feel due to it.
Cell-based therapies are a wonderful gift of modern science. In these techniques, there is a replacement of damaged or dead cells with stem cells, which can produce healthy tissue.
A majority of stem cells are used during the developmental stage. However, some remain in the body for a lifetime, primarily concentrated in bone marrow and adipose tissue. The body’s capability to naturally renew dead cells is usually diminished due to spinal stenosis. So, a patient’s own stem cells are taken from fat tissue via MMAT (Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue Transplant) or bone marrow via BMAC (Bone Marrow Concentrate).
Implanting these autologous cells aids in treating spinal stenosis and many other ailments. With this treatment, the patient can feel relief from pain and other symptoms.
PRP (Platelet-rich plasma therapy) is another effective treatment for curing spinal stenosis. In this procedure, the patient’s plasma is isolated for their blood and injected back into the damaged spine area.
Platelets are a vital component of blood, acting as a defense mechanism. They are also effective against pathological processes. These are no less than regenerative medicine that activates the discharge of natural growth elements to repair damaged tissue and replace dead cells.
Overall, the whole platelet-rich plasma therapy takes around 45 minutes to finish.
Herbs are widely known for their therapeutic effects, and you cannot ignore their usage in pain and inflammation. Spinal stenosis can make you feel symptoms like pain, weakness, and swelling. Herbs like cannabidiol, turmeric, citrullus colocynthis, or ginkgo biloba can help manage these symptoms.
Exercises For Spinal Stenosis
Incorporating a healthy diet plan and exercise regime can aid in shedding pounds for the obese. This can also result in relieving pressure from your spine. Even though you decide to go for surgery, exercising afterward can raise your recovery time. But, you must start gradually. Consult a doctor or a physiotherapist regarding the exercises that can be beneficial. Here are some of them:
It is a series of exercises that can aid in building muscles that support the neck and give a good balance. You can perform these exercises simply at home without needing any special equipment.
These exercises can aid in reducing pain and making it easier for you to move your neck and spine.
Aerobic exercises are perfect for raising your breathing and heart rates. These can also release “endorphins” that can aid in relieving pain. Swimming and bicycling are a few examples of such exercises.
Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist to learn the proper ways of exercising with spinal stenosis.
The narrowing of your spinal canal is the primary reason for spinal stenosis. As the contraction rises, the nerves passing through the spin will feel more pressure.
A chiropractor can offer natural treatment to ease your spinal stenosis. No more living in pain and stress. Go to the best chiropractor and receive the most worthy chiropractic care.