The spine has the primary function where it makes sure that the entire body structure can stay upright, move around, bend and twist without feeling any sort of pain from these activities. The ligaments, soft tissues from the musculoskeletal system, the spinal cord, the nerve roots, and the spinal disc help protect the spine from an injury that a person has been into. When the body suffers from a back injury or a pulled muscle, it can cause stress on the spinal disc and nerve roots, causing a wide variety of symptoms that can aggravate the spine and cause the individual to be suffering in pain. Luckily many treatments can help alleviate painful symptoms from spinal and back injuries and even help reduce the symptoms from other chronic issues that the body is suffering. Today’s article will focus on chronic spinal stenosis and its symptoms and how decompression therapy can help alleviate chronic spinal stenosis for many individuals. By referring patients to qualified and skilled providers specializing in spinal decompression therapy. To that end, and when appropriate, we advise our patients to refer to our associated medical providers based on their examination. We find that education is the key to asking valuable questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.
What Is Chronic Spinal Stenosis?
Have you ever felt any neck or back pain that seems to come and go throughout the entire day? Does your back or neck start to feel weird sensations that cause your arms and legs to feel numb? How about a radiating dull ache that feels better by leaning forward? If you are experiencing this, then it might be spinal stenosis. Research studies have stated that spinal stenosis is a condition that compresses the surrounding nerve roots from the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine. Spinal stenosis is a gradual condition that narrows the spinal canal causing painful symptoms. If left untreated, it can become chronic spinal stenosis and cause severe and permanent damage to the spine in both the cervical and lumbar areas.
Research studies have found that since spinal stenosis is a gradual condition on the spine, wear and tear from conditions like disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, or even herniated discs can narrow the spinal canals and compress the nerve roots. When the nerve roots are squeezed and irritated, it can radiate pain from the neck or the lower back. For the cervical spinal canal, research shows that chronic spinal stenosis can progress disc degeneration further with disc protrusion and cause the ligaments to be thick, thus resulting in chronic neck pain. Now for the lumbar spinal canal, other research studies have found that chronic lumbar spinal stenosis is responsible for being the source of leg and back pain. When lumbar spinal stenosis becomes severe when it starts to compress on the nerve roots, especially the sciatic nerve, it can cause individuals to develop sciatica.
Now, since the spine has three parts: the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar, when spinal stenosis starts to narrow the spinal canal and cause issues to the spine over time, some of the symptoms will pop up. Research studies have found that when a person has spinal stenosis, they feel pain when walking for long distances causing them to lean forward to relieve the pain or even have numbness on their legs and arms. Spinal stenosis can cause one problem in one area of the spine but can cause other issues in the rest of the body. Other symptoms that spinal stenosis causes to the spine include:
- Back and neck pain
- Numbness or tingling sensation on the arms and legs
- Foot drop
- Loss of sexual ability
- Loss of bowel control
Non-Surgical Decompression Therapy-Video
Feeling random pains pop up on your back or neck? How about a dull ache that causes a numbness or tingling sensation that affects your arms or legs? Or how about sharp radiating pain on your sciatic nerve? You might be suffering from chronic spinal stenosis, and non-surgical decompression therapy might be the answer that you seek. The video above explains how decompression therapy can help alleviate pain in the neck, back, and spine through gently stretching using a traction machine. This allows herniated spinal discs to be taking their pressure off the compressed nerve root and alleviate the pain that the person is in. Decompression therapy allows the individual to get back their quality of life pain-free. If you want to learn more about decompression therapy, this link will explain its benefits and how it can alleviate symptoms caused by chronic spinal stenosis.
Decompression Therapy Helps Alleviate Chronic Spinal Stenosis
With many treatments beneficial to low back and neck pain, people can use a wide variety to lower the symptoms. Some people use medicine to reduce the inflammation of the injured area, others use ice and heat compresses to bring down the swelling, and some use non-surgical treatments like chiropractic and physical therapy to alleviate the tension. One of the non-surgical treatments that can help with chronic spinal stenosis is decompression therapy. Research studies have found that when individuals suffer from spinal stenosis and have herniated discs pressing the compressed nerve roots, decompression therapy can help reduce the pressure. Decompression therapy uses negative pressure on the spine, causing it to be gently stretched and relieving the nerve root. The intervertebral herniated disc is supplied with nutrients and increases its hydration through traction. Not only that, but the soft tissues, muscles, and ligaments are relaxed on both the lower back and the neck.
Overall, spinal stenosis is a gradually progressive condition that causes herniated discs to irritate and compress the spinal nerve roots on the cervical and lumbar areas of the spine. When spinal stenosis starts to become chronic over time, it can cause permanent severe damage and cause radiating pain to both the legs and arms of the body. Luckily, treatments like decompression therapy can help alleviate the painful symptoms caused by spinal stenosis and restore spinal discs’ health by increasing their disc height. Utilizing decompression therapy and physical therapy is beneficial for spinal health. Both can dampen the effects of many painful symptoms caused by spinal stenosis, and many individuals can continue on their wellness journey.
Choi, Jioun, et al. “Influences of Spinal Decompression Therapy and General Traction Therapy on the Pain, Disability, and Straight Leg Raising of Patients with Intervertebral Disc Herniation.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, The Society of Physical Therapy Science, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339166/.
Medical Professionals, Johns Hopkins. “Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 15 Feb. 2022, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/lumbar-spinal-stenosis.
Meyer, Frerk, et al. “Degenerative Cervical Spinal Stenosis: Current Strategies in Diagnosis and Treatment.” Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Deutscher Arzte Verlag, May 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696878/.
Raja, Avais, et al. “Spinal Stenosis – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 19 Dec. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441989/.
Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Spinal Stenosis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Oct. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961.
Wu, Lite, and Ricardo Cruz. “Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 25 Aug. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531493/.
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The information herein on "Alleviating Chronic Spinal Stenosis With Decompression Therapy" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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