What Causes Spinal Stenosis?
WHAT CAUSES STENOSIS?
Your spine runs the length from your neck down to your tailbone. It acts as protection for your spinal cord and spinal nerves. When something obstructs that space where the spinal cord or nerves live we call this spinal stenosis.
Some people are born with a narrow spinal canal. That being said a majority of spinal stenosis occurs when something you are not born with narrows the spinal canal or the intervertebral foramen. Causes of spinal stenosis may include:
- HERNIATED AND BULGING DISCS. Your discs are located between your vertebrae in your spine. They can act as shock absorbers to help disperse compressive forces. That being said they have their own limitations and can eventually give. There is a jelly center to these and with enough force that jelly can break through the outer shell causing a herniation. The disc can also flatten like a pancake which would be a disc bulge. When that jelly center ends up in either the canal where your spinal cord lives or in the spaces where your spinal nerves exit it can cause stenosis. This is one of the most common causes of stenosis.
- OVERGROWTH OF BONE. Arthritis is the formation of new bone. This tends to be an innate response of your body when the spine is unstable. Your body naturally will want to make it more stable so it attempts to lay down new bone kind of like cement to stabilize that region. This can be a response to disc bulges, herniations, fractures, spondylolisthesis, etc. There are also certain diseases like Paget’s that can trigger excessive bone growth.
- SPINAL TRAUMA. Trauma to the spine can cause the spine to move out of alignment or even dislocate. The most common causes for something like this are typically car accidents, falls, and trauma in sports. Sprains and fractures are common findings with imaging. With that when certain segments in the spine misalign or dislocate they can create a stenosis.
- THICKENED LIGAMENTS. Similar to the way your bones can grow new bone to help stabilize a region in your spine your ligaments can have similar response. If these ligaments get too thick they can cause spinal stenosis.
- GROWTHS. Abnormal growths can form inside the spinal cord. This is the least common cause of stenosis. If these growths are sitting in the vertebral spaces or canal it can impinge on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
WHAT IS THE BEST TREATMENT FOR SPINAL STENOSIS?
Herniated/bugling discs, spinal trauma (car accidents, sports, falls), and new bone growth are by far the most common causes of spinal stenosis. If you are not a candidate for surgery, did not respond to injections, or you still have symptoms following surgery then NON SURGICAL SPINAL DECOMPRESSION is going to be your best option. Now not everybody is a good candidate for this type of treatment. That being said those that are will experience great relief in their condition. It can act as a catalyst to start regaining more of what you used to be able to do prior to your back or neck issues. When coupling this with proper realignment, low level laser therapy, soft tissue mobilization, and spinal stabilization therapy the potential for reducing symptoms, regaining function, and maintaining those gains improves dramatically.
Check out our video below to see how NON SURGICAL SPINAL DECOMPRESSION therapy works.
IS SPINAL STENOSIS A SERIOUS CONDITION?
How serious the condition is typically dependent on how narrow the spinal or vertebral spaces have become. The smaller those spaces are the less room there is for your spinal cord and or nerves. Once those nerves are being compressed by this they can start to die off. This can manifest as a variety of symptoms like traveling sensations, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, burning, shooting, throbbing, problems with balance or walking, incontinence, etc. Once you start to experience one or more of these symptoms it’s time to see a specialist that can help guide you in the right direction for the proper treatment. If you ignore something like the longer you wait the worse it will get. On occasion this can result in more permanent injuries.
CAN SPINAL STENOSIS BE CURED?
Unfortunately, currently there is no “cure” for this condition. That being said there are options both non-invasive and invasive depending on how severe your condition is. It does not have to be a life sentence for losing out being able to live a regular life again.
Check out the video testimonial below of how Perry overcame his stenosis!
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