First, we want to clear up a common misconception. Chiropractic for spinal stenosis is not an alternative healing method, but a purely scientific one for back and joint problems.
In these cases, the chiropractor is the right contact person In principle, many diagnoses and symptoms can be treated with chiropractic: neck, shoulder and back pain are among them. Just like whiplash, herniated discs and stenosis as well as headaches and dizziness, to name just a small, common selection.
For you as a patient, however, it is important who carries out the chiropractic wellness on you. Because only with a chiropractor can you expect a highly qualified education through at least six years of university studies and several years of practical experience. You are in safe hands in the truest sense of the word. Speaking of hands: chiropractors only work with their hands. No injections or medication are used.
The best chiropractic wellness for spinal stenosis will be guided by an accurate diagnosis, possibly using x-rays or other diagnostic methods, and an understanding of the patient’s medical history.
As professional chiropractors, we have seen many of our patients overcome spinal stenosis with chiropractic wellness.
What is spinal stenosis?
The spinal canal stenosis is a narrowing of the vertebral canal due to osteoarthritis.
This pathology is manifested by difficulty in walking, weakness in the arm muscles and/or significant pain. It is linked to a narrowing of the central canal of the spine. It is explained by osteoarthritis, that is to say by a progressive and age-related destruction of one or more disc(s) located between the vertebrae and by the degeneration of the joints located behind the vertebrae spine.
Between each vertebra is a gelatinous cushion, the disc, which acts as a shock absorber. It is there to absorb shock and allow normal spinal movement. It also prevents the bones from rubbing or colliding. If one of these discs sags, which is normal with age, the vertebrae surrounding it come into contact. As a reaction and to prevent wear, the affected bones produce growths, called osteophytes or “parrot’s beaks”. As you grow, these deformities can reduce the diameter of the canal that runs through the back of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. At the joints located at the back of the spine, the same phenomenon can occur; the destruction of the cartilage leads to the appearance of growths which can then compress the nerve roots.
How is spinal stenosis dangerous?
The risk of spinal stenosis depends on the area it affects. It does not manifest itself immediately in its most dangerous form, however if neglected it can end up in severe disability.
In general, when it affects the cervical spine, it becomes more dangerous. In the cervical spine, stenosis can cause damage to the spinal cord, a very fragile anatomical structure, which is the continuation of the brain within the column. Any damage to the marrow is usually irreparable for this reason and we must seek immediate medical advice in order to at least stop the progression of the disease.
When spinal stenosis affects the lumbar spine it can cause loss of control of urination and defecation and significant muscle weakness, which can border on paralysis.
What are the causes of spinal stenosis?
The main cause of spinal stenosis is the normal wear and tear of the vertebrae over the years. In other words, spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease, which results in the development of so-called bone spurs and osteoarthritis. When these bony structures grow, they take up space by pressing on the nerves.
Another common cause is herniated discs, which can cause spinal stenosis in younger people or worsen the problem of an osteoarthritic spine, further limiting the space available for nerves.
Thickening and hardening of the spinal ligaments, also known as ankylosis, is also a common cause of spinal stenosis. In essence, it is a defense of the body, which through an inflammatory process causes the ligaments that allow the movement of the vertebrae to thicken to limit the mobility of the spine.
A rarer cause of spinal stenosis is tumors, which also take up space and press on the nerves. Tumors grow much faster compared to spinal degeneration and need immediate surgical intervention.
Finally, spinal fractures can cause spinal stenosis either primary or secondary, as they result in the displacement of bone parts of the vertebrae, a condition that also needs immediate surgical repair.
What are the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?
In the lumbar spine, spinal stenosis begins with numbness and tingling in the feet and toes, as well as some form of weakness in certain leg muscle groups.
Then, it causes pain and cramps in both legs, especially when the patient sits for a while, but also when he tries to walk. The pain can manifest in the sole, calf, thigh, buttock, depending on the nerve that is entrapped. If all the nerves are trapped, then the pain can manifest everywhere, including the lower back.
In the cervical spine, spinal stenosis begins with numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers, and then causes a feeling of weakness in the arms and legs. More progressively, the patient may have a loss of hand coordination and balance. This is a symptom that, if the problem is not solved immediately, may even remain forever.
When the disease worsens, neck pain, dizziness and headaches appear. In more severe forms of stenosis, in which the spinal cord is also compressed, loss of coordination of movements and balance is caused, as well as problems with the control of urination and defecation.
How does chiropractic help with spinal stenosis?
Chiropractic is a wellness approach to healing through spinal manipulation.
There is credible evidence that all-natural, non-invasive treatment options are effective against many forms of disease and health conditions. Chiropractic is particularly suitable for spinal stenosis because it corrects and realigns displaced and herniated discs, thereby reducing pressure on the spinal cord, its joints and nerve networks.
In addition to manipulating the spine, chiropractors use a variety of techniques to treat the symptoms of spinal stenosis. The main steps include:
- Manual therapy: Chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis involves regular manual therapy sessions as this tends to improve blood circulation in the body, thus helping the body to heal at a faster rate.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy is a key part of spinal stenosis and chiropractic therapy and involves various forms of stretching exercises that help strengthen the spinal manipulation technique. These exercises can be easily performed at work or at home during leisure time.
- Diet and lifestyle advice: Chiropractic treatment with cervical or lumbar spinal stenosis is incomplete without your administrator providing you with healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. Incorporating these minute changes will go a long way in healing the diseased spine.
Surgery should always be the last option
It may happen that no improvements occur despite measures/therapies being taken. Only then is surgery actually necessary from a medical point of view and, above all, makes sense. Surgery is also required when signs of paralysis occur or the patient no longer has control over bowel movements and urination. Current research results support the thesis that chiropractic treatments significantly reduce the symptoms of a stenosis.
Incidentally, this also applies to a herniated disc! If your orthopedist recommends surgery, get a second opinion from a chiropractor. Either way, you’re in safe hands there.
Medication and chiropractic for Spinal stenosis
The medication is extremely important with chiropractic for spinal stenosis. This is achieved by eliminating inflammation and then manual spinal adjustment, stretching, and other treatments.
Compared to medication, chiropractic care aims to get to the root of the problem. Other than medicines that work to get rid of tumors, inflammation and pain relief.
Chiropractic treatment is intended to be a long-term solution. But the drug has harmful side effects.
Drug therapy in the form of paracetamol and its analogues, as well as any NSAIDs or neuropathic pain relievers (all are subject to contraindications).
In the case of concurrent back pain, treatment with paracetamol and NSAIDs is considered for a short time (again, subject to contraindications).
Neuropathic pain relievers are used only after careful study of patients with spinal stenosis, since the beneficial effect is uncertain and there is a risk of side effects.
Exercises of chiropractors to relieving spinal stenosis
If the symptoms are relatively mild, treatment methods such as chiropractic for spinal stenosis and exercise therapy may be recommended for the purpose of mitigation with oral medication. In order to relieve pain, pain relievers, medicines that improve blood flow, Chinese herbs, etc. may be prescribed, and by taking them, effects such as alleviation of pain and numbness, coldness coming from the lower back, etc.
Exercise therapy is effective in increasing flexibility by softening the body, reducing pain, and improving metabolism and blood circulation. By consciously performing the exercise of sitting in the correct posture, you can effectively train the muscles in your body.
Exercise therapy can be started at any time, and by building muscle strength, it helps prevent back pain and recurrence. If you feel severe pain and want immediate pain relief, you can take medicine to relieve the pain. It is a fast-acting treatment when the pain is so severe that it interferes with daily life.
What can you do yourself?
In your everyday life, you’ve probably already figured out what relieves pain—and what makes it worse. Arching your back, such as when you sit, leaves more room in the spinal canal, and you’ll find that this helps. Resting positions, such as lying on your back with your knees bent toward your chest, can also help.
Exercise keeps you – and your back – supple and fit, so daily exercise is important. Most people with spinal stenosis can ride a bike without the pain getting worse. You can go for short walks and then take breaks by sitting or bending over if the pain gets worse.
It does not matter, whether the activities make the back pain worse for a while, but you must try to avoid anything that causes the pain in your legs to get worse. It’s not dangerous if they get worse for a short time, but if the nerves remain irritated for longer, your symptoms can get worse.
In very rare cases, the pressure on the nerves can become so great that an acute examination is required.
Call a surgeon, or emergency room doctor right away if you:
- Can’t feel when to pee or otherwise can’t control your urine or bowel movements.
- Suddenly lose muscle strength in your legs or have difficulty controlling your legs
How to get help for your spinal stenosis
There are provide evidence-based chiropractic wellness for spinal stenosis patients in united states and united kingdom locations here:
Chiropractic for spinal stenosis in USA
1- American Chiropractic Clinic
Address: 3140 Garden Oaks Dr, New Orleans, LA 70114, United States
2- Pacific Chiropractic Clinic
Address: 7503 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036, United States
3- Brien Chiropractic Clinic
Address: 1590 US-27 North, Avon Park, FL 33825, United States
5- Arrowhead Clinic Chiropractic Midtown Atlanta
Address: 552 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, United States
Chiropractic for spinal stenosis in UK
1- Islington Clinic
2- Clerkenwell Chiropractic Clinic
3- Prime Therapy Chiropractic Clinic
Address: 25 London Rd, Grantham NG31 6EX, United Kingdom
4- Putney Chiropractic Centre
Address: 2b Weiss Rd, London SW15 1DH, United Kingdom
5- London Spine & Joint Clinic
Address: 14 Norfolk Pl, Tyburnia, London W2 1QJ, United Kingdom
You will benefit from the latest technology in this field. With many years of experience, in these clinics you will find rapid pain relief, long-term wellness, and an improved quality of life.
Current research shows that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for stenosis to minimize discomfort.
A stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that runs through the spine and a narrowing between the individual vertebrae (e.g. foraminal stenosis, narrowing of the nerve passage points due to bone outgrowths).
In most cases, a stenosis is caused by degenerative changes such as arthrosis (wear and tear).
A stenosis cannot be reversed. However, chiropractic care can help to significantly reduce the discomfort and pain associated with stenosis.
In the case of a stenosis, the area around the stenosis is treated chiropractically . This is where so-called blockages (malpositions of the vertebrae or joints) are located. If these blockages are not adjusted, i.e. the joints are not brought into the best possible position, friction occurs that causes swelling and inflammation. The result is -> less space and more complaints.
Chiropractic removes these blockages. Joints are put back in place, swelling and inflammation are reduced and discomfort and pain are minimized.
Frequently Asked Questions about chiropractic for spinal stenosis
What anesthesia will I have?
All surgeries to repair spinal stenosis are done under general anesthesia.
How many days will I be hospitalized?
The micro decompression operation requires just one day of hospitalization, in contrast to the classic method, which requires the patient to stay in the hospital for four days.
When can I go back to work?
This depends on the type of work. The return to manual work takes place after six weeks. If the job concerns an office job then the return is made after two weeks.
When will I be able to lift weights and exercise?
As in the case of manual work, the return to sports activities and exercise or weight lifting is done in six weeks.
What is the success rate of this surgical method?
As long as it is applied with the right indications to the right patients, success rates are over 90-95%.
What are the postoperative complications?
Spinal stenosis surgery is generally a very safe operation, one of the safest spinal operations. However, there is a minimal statistical chance of complications from the surgery.
The most serious complication of all is partial paralysis, which however occurs in less than 1% of cases.
Another complication, as in all surgeries, is the risk of an infection, against which antibiotics are taken as a precaution.
Rarely, the leakage of CSF can cause problems in the healing of the wound, but – as a rule – it does not affect the result of the operation and does not create problems in the long term.
Could I have a relapse and what happens in this case?
There is the possibility of a recurrence of the symptoms due to a re-emergence of the disease, this time in another part of the spine. However, as long as the decompression of the stricture has been done correctly, it is extremely rare for the stricture to return in the same place.