Spinal stenosis, also known as central stenosis, is a condition that is caused by an abnormal narrowing of your spinal canal. When this occurs, your spine can end up becoming pinched and aggravated, leading to radiating pain, numbness and weakness in parts of your spine, arms and legs. Although it is more common in the lower back we also see cases from the neck.
Cervical Central Stenosis Symptoms
- Leg symptoms like weakness, tingling, pain or pins and needle numbness (especially if your back examination is normal). If you have a lower back problem, it can cause these symptoms as well.
- Nerve symptoms in both of your arms like weakness, tingling, pain or pins and needle numbness, symptoms that are normally seen in lateral stenosis, but they affect both arms.
- Other leg symptoms like stiffness, your legs feeling ‘wooden’ and ‘rigid’ and having difficulty in keeping your balance, a tendency of walking with a wider stance and problems walking.
- The most common cause of central stenosis is osteoarthritis of the spine (wear and tear of your spine) and thickening of ligaments within the spinal canal. Spurs may form from your joints and vertebral bodies, then it may begin to encroach on your central canal (ependymal canal).
- Trauma, resulting in fractures, dislocations and bleeds.
- Disc injuries are also a common cause; for instance, longstanding degenerative disc injuries or acute, sudden disc herniations.
- Although it is rare, things such as a tumour and cysts can cause this condition.
- Also, you can be born with a narrower central canal, which increases your risk of having stenosis, congenital stenosis.
Chiropractic Treatment May Help Symptoms Of Cervical Central Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is potentially an extremely serious condition. If severe, it can end up causing significant nerve symptoms that can be permanent if you don’t quickly seek help to deal with the problem. You might even require surgery. That’s why your chiropractor will likely refer you for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to establish the cause and severity of the compression. If the symptoms and compression are mild, surgery is often not the first place to start, conservative management like chiropractic treatment is the ideal option.
One of the primary treatment methods chiropractors use to treat this condition is spinal manipulation. This technique uses gentle hand movements in subtly changing the vertebrae of your spine positions. Spinal manipulation will take pressure off your spine and help to relieve your pain and discomfort.
Your chiropractor will use various other techniques to help you remain active and comfortable. Here are some of them:
- Stretches and Exercises
Your chiropractor will teach you how to do stretches and exercises that will reinforce spinal manipulation effects. Stretches and exercises will allow you to take control of your healing by giving you something to work on your free time when you are at home.
- Massage Therapy
This works together with spinal manipulation technique to improve your blood flow and heal all the injured parts of your body. Also, massage therapy improves the quality of your life by increasing your level of comfort.
- Lifestyle Advice
Your chiropractor will give you lifestyle advice to help you avoid problems that can exacerbate your condition. Changing sleeping habits, using better chairs, changing postures plus other lifestyle adjustments will help you live a happier life.