Spinal Stenosis

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Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces within the spine narrow and put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spinal cord. This condition typically occurs in the lower back and the neck.


Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis


Spinal stenosis does not always cause symptoms and may require an MRI or CT scan to diagnose the condition. When symptoms do occur, they begin gradually and worsen over time.

Spinal stenosis in the neck may cause:

  • Numbness or tingling in a hand, arm, foot, or leg
  • Weakness in a hand, arm, foot, or leg
  • Difficulty walking and maintaining balance
  • Neck pain
  • In severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction (urinary urgency and incontinence)
Man-placing-hands-on-lower-back-in-pain-from-spinal-stenosis
Doctor-examining-patient’s-low-back-for-spinal-stenosis

Spinal stenosis in the lower back (lumbar spine) may cause:

  • Numbness or tingling in a foot or leg
  • Weakness in a foot or leg
  • Pain or cramping in one or both legs after standing for long periods of time or when walking, which usually eases when bending forward or sitting down
  • Back pain

Causes of Spinal Stenosis


The spine runs from the neck to the lower back, and is made up of bones that form a spinal canal, which protects the spinal cord (nerves).

Though some people are born with a small spinal canal, the condition usually occurs as a result of:

  • Bone overgrowth, caused by osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and Paget’s disease
  • Herniated discs may apply pressure to the spinal cord or nerves
  • Thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal
  • Tumors may form inside the spinal cord
  • Spinal injuries caused by car accidents and other trauma can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves
Female-patient-being-treated-for-spinal-stenosis

Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis


At Westcare Clinics, patients diagnosed with spinal stenosis may require a treatment plan that includes pain management techniques, joint and soft tissue injections, and occupational medicine. The right approach to treatment will depend on the patient’s pain level and overall physical condition.

Treatment for spinal stenosis may incorporate pain management techniques, such as cold and heat therapy, gentle exercise, biofeedback, physical therapy, mind-body techniques, music therapy, therapeutic massage, and occupational therapy to help manage their symptoms. Each patient will receive personalized recommendations from their doctor for managing pain.

Westcare Clinics also offers joint and soft tissue injections to help minimize pain associated with spinal stenosis. These injections may include piriformis injection, epidural injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections. The type of soft tissue injection done will depend on the patient’s condition and level of pain.

Westcare Clinics offers occupational medicine for patients who need help adjusting to the demands of their workplace. Our team of healthcare practitioners is also available to train employers seeking to adapt the workplace and worker responsibilities according to the physical limitations of an employee being treated for spinal stenosis.

Advanced Treatment


Patients experiencing severe symptoms may need further treatment to manage pain and treat their condition. Advanced treatment options may include chiropractic adjustment, surgery, physical therapy, acupuncture, and other forms of rehabilitation. The Westcare Clinics team is happy to answer any questions patients may have about obtaining advanced treatment for spinal stenosis.

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