February 2022 Newsletter

Stenosis
By Dr. Cal Lisman

        Spinal Stenosis is a condition in which the central spinal canal, lateral recesses or neural foramen of the spine begins to narrow, commonly in the low back and neck.  As the narrowing occurs, there is less space for the neural structures to move freely and pressure can be placed on the nerves attached to the spinal cord causing symptoms.



        Stenosis can be genetically inherited or caused by bony structural changes within the spine.  These changes can include disc herniation, arthritis, age-related bone overgrowth and ligament changes due to loaded activities over time.  Symptoms of stenosis include pain in the region, numbness or tingling in the extremities, balance issues and muscle weakness.  If untreated extreme symptoms of significant nerve related pain and weakness into the extremities or loss of bowel or bladder function will require urgent emergency care from a spine surgeon.  

 

        Symptoms typically manifest in individuals over the age of 50 and chances increase with age.  Most symptoms develop slowly overtime but some are caused by traumatic events that trigger stenosis to develop.  Some individuals may have stenosis and be completely free of symptoms. Advanced symptoms are preventable with conservative care.  Active Release Techniques, chiropractic manipulation and physical rehabilitative exercises can help decrease pain symptoms and improve the flexibility of the spinal region and extremities involved.  These treatments help maintain a stable environment for the spine and associated nerves to prevent worsening progression of stenosis.  Active Release Techniques is a manual therapy that directly effects the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the joints in the spine and extremities to help reduce the pressure on the nerves.

 

            Once the stenosis symptoms are managed, strengthening exercises are recommended to help stabilize the area of the spine effected. The Cat and Camel exercise and the Birddog exercise demonstrated below are excellent exercises that will help promote proper spinal motion while also improving core musculature stability to further support the spine.


 
Cat and Camel Exercise

Bird Dog Exercise


Active Performance Chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries.  Treatment is a unique blend of Active Release Techniques®, traditional chiropractic therapy, and physical rehabilitation designed to match each patient’s goals and lifestyle.