Spinal stenosis is a progressive condition that starts out with minor symptoms and may eventually cause severe pain and discomfort. At Premier Wellness Group, Dr. Patrick King and his team can create a treatment plan to help manage the pain and allow you to remain as active as possible, while your body receives the medical chiropractic therapies it needs to heal fully. If you live in Cape Coral, Florida, or the surrounding areas, and have back or neck pain, call the office or go online to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the small holes in the bones of your vertebrae begin to narrow, impinging on the spinal cord nerves that travel through them. It is often considered a natural part of the aging process, as wear and tear cause bone spurs to develop on vertebral bones. Herniated discs, thickened ligaments, or trauma can also cause spinal stenosis symptoms.
Spinal stenosis can occur anywhere along the spinal column. If it affects your lower back, it is called lumbar stenosis. If the problem is in your neck, it’s called cervical stenosis.
In many cases, spinal stenosis starts out as a dull ache or mild pain that begins near your spinal column and radiates outward. As the condition worsens, symptoms may intensify causing extreme pain and discomfort. Inflammation puts pressure on other areas of the spinal column, and the condition restricts your movements, making you feel stiff and uncomfortable.
Depending on the location of the narrowing, additional symptoms of spinal stenosis may include:
Symptoms of spinal stenosis may be constant, or they may come and go. Certain positions or activities may make the condition worse, and the pain may be relieved by sitting, lying down, or bending a certain direction, depending on the individual person.
If the condition goes untreated, nerves become more and more irritated and sensitive, with more severe pain.
Dr. King has a variety of diagnostic tools at his disposal that allow him to accurately diagnose spinal stenosis and many other conditions that result in intense back pain. He performs a physical examination and obtains any necessary imaging tests, such as X-rays, or a CT scan or MRI.
Dr. King’s first priority is to make you feel better, so treatment may include oral pain medicine or anti-inflammatory medications, or steroid injections. Spinal stenosis may be treated with spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments, as well as activity modification and rehabilitative exercises.
Spinal decompression uses traction to gradually decrease the pressure on your spine and separate the vertebrae. This restores blood flow to your nerves and tissues providing both oxygen and nutrients that are needed to speed up the healing process. While nonsurgical treatments are effective in most cases, others may require surgery to enlarge the spinal canal and provide enough room for the nerves and blood vessels to function efficiently.