What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is a common condition found in adults 50 and older. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which is occupied by the spinal cord. This condition occurs in the neck or lower back. The spinal canal is the open area in the bones (vertebrae) that make up the spinal column. The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that runs through the spinal canal from the base of the brain to the lower back. These nerves allow us to feel sensation, to move muscles, and to control the bowel and bladder as well as all other body functions.
What causes spinal stenosis?
Aging is a big contributing factor to spinal stenosis. As adults get older, spinal stenosis can result from changes due to damage from arthritis or degenerative changes in the spinal column. This usually happens when bone or tissue…or both…grow in the openings in the spinal bones. This growth can squeeze and irritate nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. The result can be pain, numbness, or weakness most often in the arms, hands, legs and feet. The two most common types of spinal stenosis people are diagnosed with are lumbar spinal stenosis and cervical stenosis.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back region or lumbar area. Usually it is caused by changes that happen to the body as people age. For example:
- Connective tissues called ligaments get thicker as you age and push on the nerves in your spinal canal.
- Arthritis leads to the growth of bony spurs that push on the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord.
- Intervertebral Discs between the bones are pushed backward into the spinal canal causing pressure to be exerted on the spinal cord.
- Intervertebral Discs get thinner making the openings where nerves exit the spine bones narrower. This pinches the nerves causing pain, numbness, tingling and even burning sensations.
Cervical stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck. In cervical stenosis the spinal canal narrows, squeezing and compressing the nerve roots where they leave the spinal cord, or it may compress or damage the spinal cord itself. The seven vertebrae just below the skull make up the cervical spine. Squeezing the nerves and cord in the cervical spine can change how the spinal cord functions, causing pain, stiffness, numbness, or weakness in the neck, arms, and legs. It can also affect your control of your bowels and bladder.
Cervical stenosis is usually caused by age-related changes in the shape and size of the spinal canal. It is most common in people older than age 50. The aging process can cause a “bulging of the discs”, the spongy tissue between the bones of the spine, to bulge out farther than normal – or a thickening of tissues that connect bones (ligaments). Aging can also lead to destruction of tissues that cover the joints (cartilage) and excessive growth of the bone in the joints (arthritis). These conditions can narrow the spinal canal causing spinal stenosis.
Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
The symptoms of spinal stenosis can worsen over the course of time. The common symptoms people suffer from are…
- Pain in the neck or back
- Numbness, weakness, cramping or pain in the arms or legs
- Having a hard time standing or walking
- Sciatica, which is shooting pain down the leg
- Foot drop, which is a painful leg weakness causing you to “slap” your foot on the ground
- Loss of bladder or bowel control – this occurs in extreme cases as it weakens the nerves to the bladder or bowel
Symptoms may be severe at times and not as bad at other times; however, this is a progressive degenerative condition that always gets worse over time.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please consult our office to reserve a time to attend one of our FREE spinal stenosis informational seminars to learn more on how we can help you feel like yesterday…today!
Our Cutting-Edge Spinal Stenosis Treatments At Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics
At Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics we offer non-surgical treatments using FDA cleared technologies to relieve the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis and cervical stenosis without drugs or surgery. Our cutting edge, systematic approach to treating spinal stenosis allows you to get back to happy living and enjoying your life. Our holistic techniques address neurological, metabolic and nutritional challenges allowing us to get rid of your chronic symptoms no matter the length of time you have been experiencing them.
The Combination We Use To Treat Your Spinal Stenosis
Our highly effective disc rehydration therapy allows each patient to achieve maximal therapeutic relief from their back and/or neck pain by unloading pressure on neurological, vascular and osseous components. This therapy is now the primary non-surgical safe and effective treatment for patients with spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, facet arthritis, bulging discs and more. Unlike drugs and injections, this new alternative therapy is natural and its effects are long lasting and often permanent.
Another revolutionary technology we use to treat stenosis patients is Deep Tissue Laser Therapy. The use of this laser therapy reduces pain, relieves inflammation and restores mobility without the use of drugs or surgery. It works by using specific wavelengths of light that have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Photons of laser energy penetrate deeply into the damaged tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. This increases blood flow to the tissue which in turn increases the metabolism of the tissue’s cell. As a result of this laser exposure, an optimal environment is created for your tissue to heal the cells of tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. This allows them to repair themselves at a faster rate. As the inflammation is reduced, your stenosis pain subsides very quickly.
The best news is that these new therapies are suited for almost everyone and unlike pharmacological or surgery solutions; there are no known negative side effects. Regardless of the therapies you’ve tried in the past, our team at Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics has over 17 years experience helping people suffering from the painful symptoms of spinal stenosis in Central NY to gain a higher quality of life by relieving chronic pain or other debilitating symptoms of stenosis, allowing them to regain a normal healthy lifestyle.
Interested in learning more about our spinal stenosis alternative treatment? Schedule a time to attend one of our free seminars by calling our office at (315) 622-0102 today!