Spinal stenosis is a medical condition in which the open spaces of the spine narrow. This can place pressure on the spinal cord and its nerves, pinching them. Most cases of spinal stenosis developed in the neck, which is called cervical spinal stenosis, or lower back, which is lumbar spinal stenosis.
The symptoms that spinal stenosis causes depend on where the nerves in the spinal column are pinched or pressured. Cases of cervical spinal stenosis may cause tingling, numbness, or weakness in any extremity, problems balancing or walking, or incontinence issues. Lumbar spinal stenosis is often associated with cramping or pain in the legs, especially when standing.
As is the case with many medical conditions, these symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Even patients with mild symptoms, however, should consider seeing a healthcare provider who can treat the condition so that it doesn’t become worse.
Spinal stenosis can develop whenever an open space in the spinal column is shrunk or narrowed. This can be caused by:
Spinal stenosis may be treated with medication, chiropractic care, steroid injections, or surgery. Surgery, as the most invasive and involved treatment option, is typically reserved as a final option. Often, healthcare providers recommend starting with chiropractic care. It’s a natural and non-invasive treatment, and it’s often effective.
Medical doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists are all able to provide treatments for spinal stenosis. While medical doctors are the only providers who can offer prescription medication and perform surgery, many patients don’t need these treatments and can see a chiropractor. Some patients choose to see both a medical doctor and a chiropractor.
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