Spinal stenosis is a condition where the pathways in the spinal column narrow. This can be a congenital or degenerative condition. Once called creeping paralysis, this condition no longer needs to be something that worsens over time.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Determining the cause of your stenosis will determine the remedies available. Congenital stenosis means you were born with a spine that has narrow pathways for the nerves, while degenerative conditions may cause bone spurs or compression that narrow the spinal column 1.
Conservative treatments may reverse the effects of stenosis by decompressing the inter-vertebral discs to give the spine more room to maneuver. Treatment programs include chiropractic, physical therapy, ultrasound and TENS units to stretch and strengthen the spinal muscles 1.
In severe cases where the nerves are being compressed and damaged, surgery may be recommended to open channels. Surgeons can remove bone spurs or open the nerve root channels.
Whether using conservative or surgical treatment options, procedures are designed to improve spine health to prevent further degeneration. Though not reversing the stenosis, you are maintaining your lifestyle.
Once diagnosed with stenosis, most patients will get worse over time. By treating the symptoms and maintaining adequate physical strength in your back, you can reverse the pain and discomfort of stenosis.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mike Rolph