Can Spinal Stenosis Be Reversed?
If you're one of approximately 500,000 Americans with spinal stenosis, you already know the basics. Your spinal canal, the open hole in the spinal bones that runs up and down the spine and holds the spinal cord and spinal nerves, is getting more narrow. As this happens, it can put pressure on the nerves within the spinal canal, which causes pain.
Whether you've been diagnosed with spinal stenosis or you suspect that you have it, the natural next question is what to do about it. Will it go away? Can spinal stenosis be reversed?
The short answer to whether we can reverse spinal stenosis is maybe. The question is, what is causing the spinal stenosis. Is it bony tissue or overgrowth or soft tissue say from a bulging or herniated disc. Every patient is different, though.
The term "spinal stenosis" refers to that narrowing spinal canal, but the term is rather general. There are many factors that contribute to a narrowing spinal canal, and each patient can have a different combination of factors. Some of those factors are more treatable than others.
To understand more about how this works and what treatments may help you, let's take a closer look at what causes spinal stenosis.
Why Do I Have Spinal Stenosis?
When we age, there are many changes that happen in our bodies, and several of them can contribute to spinal stenosis.
The bony tissue inside the spine may become thicker or overgrown over time, as the bones of your spine change as you age. Bone spurs can grow and even group together in what we call a bony bar. We call this bony stenosis.
On the other hand bulging and herniated disc can push on the cord or nerves in the spinal canal. Ligaments such as the ligament flavum can overgrow as well causing soft tissue stenosis.
The path to treating your spinal stenosis and improving your pain will depend on the causes behind your spinal stenosis. For the vast majority of people, though, a chiropractor can provide relief.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Spinal Stenosis
Most people think of chiropractors as providers who crack backs and adjust spines. In reality, we offer far more than this.
During our schooling to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, chiropractors delve deep into the musculoskeletal system and how it functions. That includes the spinal canal and conditions like spinal stenosis.
For anyone with spinal stenosis, we begin by assessing your condition and determining which factors are contributing to your stenosis. With that information in hand, we can use a variety of techniques to ease your pain.
Reducing Nerve Compression
Try this visualization: put a ring on your finger and note that you can feel light pressure from the ring against your skin. Now tilt that ring while it's still on your finger. You can feel much more pressure on your skin when you do this.
That is what happens to the nerves inside your spine when you have a misaligned spine along with spinal stenosis. Unlike your finger, though, your nerves cause severe pain when they feel pressure.
As a chiropractor, we'll be able to resolve any misalignments you have that may be making your pain worse. Misalignments can also make certain movements more painful for your spine, so an adjustment will help with this as well.
Many patients have soft tissue stenosis causes by bulging and herniated disc. We now have FDA approved decompression traction equipment that will help treat bulging and herniated disc.
Decompression traction has been available to chiropractors since the mid 1990's. What we do is strap you in the table and let the computer controlled table gently pull on you creating a negative pressure or vacuum if you will, which pulls the disc back up into place. So what the results. In double blind studies from major universites decompression traction was about 80% successful in treating soft tissue spinal stenosis.
Inflammation is a major factor in spinal stenosis pain. We have known for decades that bulging disc, herniated disk and stenosis cause an increase in spinal canal inflammation. In the past 5 years a particular inflammatory marker has be identified as the source. TNAa or Tumor necrosis factor alpha is that source of inflammation.
In many cases, we can help patients to reduce their TNFa inflammation and relieve spinal pressure with modalities and physiotherapy. We use lasers to help treat the inflammation. We also use e-stim and ultrasound to treat the muscles.
Each patient is unique, but physiotherapy including stretches, exercises, and other movements may also improve the way your body functions and reduce your inflammation.
We start by performing your therapy exercises in the office. At the same time, we give you stretches and movements to perform at home. Keeping up with this on a regular basis can improve your pain over time and keep it to a minimum.
There are lifestyle choices you can make that will affect your condition too.
Based on my knowledge of the spine, we can counsel you about ways to minimize your pain on a daily basis.
This could include correcting your posture to reduce inflammation and misalignments. It may include adding certain types of exercise to your routine or avoiding others. You could also be surprised how much it can help to change your sleeping position or to spend less time sitting.
Relief with Fewer Risks and Side Effects
Chiropractic care can go a long way toward helping people with spinal stenosis. Among all the different techniques we use, though, there is one constant: all are noninvasive.
This is why so many patients prefer chiropractic adjustments over more extensive and risky treatments like surgery. Chiropractic care is easier to fit into your life, and the treatments have few if any side effects or risks.
Chiropractic care is also more affordable for most patients compared to other treatments, and it has a strong track record of effective results.
As an added bonus, you can treat multiple issues at once with chiropractic care. For many people with spinal stenosis, the stenosis is one of many aches and pains. we can treat a variety of issues in each appointment, giving you more comfort overall.
What to Do if You Suffer from Spinal Stenosis
In a nutshell, can spinal stenosis be reversed? At first glance, it may be discouraging to see that spinal stenosis isn't fully reversible.
However, it is far from being untreatable. With the help of a knowledgeable chiropractor near me, you can live your life with less pain and more movement instead of letting spinal stenosis hold you back.
The first step is to schedule a chiropractic appointment at our office. Our team will be able to understand your condition and its contributing factors, discuss your treatment options, and develop a plan tailored to you and your needs. Call now for your Free Consultation with the Doctor.