Spinal stenosis happens when the space around the patient’s spinal cord narrows and causes pressure on the nerve roots. Normally, the main reason why this condition occurs is because of the wear and tear arthritis. Our bone rubs against bones when the cartilage wears away. As a result, there will an overgrowth of bone that will intrude into spinal cord space. Thickened ligaments, herniated disks, and abnormal growths are just some of the causes of spinal stenosis. Major trauma or Paget’s disease may also cause spinal stenosis.
Congenital spinal stenosis is a condition when the problem is traced back to the problems present at birth. But most of the time, people are most likely to have and develop this condition as they age. According to American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, spinal stenosis usually occurs in people over 60 years old. Some of the symptoms include numbness, back pain and weakness of the legs.
When it comes to diagnosis and treatment, the doctor usually requires you to undergo some tests like MRI scans, X-rays, and CT scans. Also, CTSI procedure had been performed for all patients. This is necessary in order for the doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms. These tests will also provide you the detailed pictures of your spine so the doctor can further examine your condition. But prior to these tests, your doctor needs to conduct physical examination first.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal stenosis but there are treatments that can help the patients relive symptoms. Your doctor will also prescribe some over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. This will help you to ease the pain and swelling. But if these medications are not able to help you, your doctor may prescribe higher dose medication. In some cases, some doctors also prescribe cortisone injections. This is an anti-inflammatory drug that is injected directly into the spinal stenosis area. This injection can help you also to ease inflammation and pain. The effects of Cortisone may be temporary but you should not have more than 3 injections in a single year.
If you are thinking that a person suffering from spinal stenosis can no longer perform exercises, you are wrong. While patients may feel too much pain to exercise, the movement is crucial to the overall health of the patient. Hence, it is recommended to do some stretching exercises several times in a day.
Patients who have not done exercises in a while may start slowly even if it is just a couple of minutes in a day. It is advisable to do exercises for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
It is also recommended to try exercising in pool especially for those who find exercising difficult. The water buoyancy will make it easier for people move and get full range of motion. Exercises will help patients to improve their balance and flexibility so they can move better. Exercises are not only good for their physical health but it can also improve their well-being.