As of Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Lumbar spinal stenosis—one of the most common reasons for spinal surgery in older people—results in elderly patients who have bent-forward, shuffling posture and a characteristic small-step gait.
Stenosis surgery is a major procedure that is recommended only when conservative methods of care aren’t effective.
WHAT IS STENOSIS?
Spinal stenosis is created by the narrowing of the spinal canal. It may or may not result in low-back pain, limping, and a lack of feeling in the legs.
Stenosis is often a degenerative condition. Degenerative stenosis has multiple contributing factors, including disc degeneration, disc bulging, bone spur formation around the vertebrae and the facets, thickening of the soft tissues, and bulging around the disc.
HOW IS STENOSIS TREATED?
There are three basic treatment approaches to spinal stenosis. The conservative medical approach, frequently involves bed rest, analgesics, local heat, and muscle relax-ants. The conservative chiropractic approach includes manipulation, exercise and self-care techniques. The third is surgery. The source of the stenosis often dictates the treatment.
Stenosis surgery will often have good results up to two years, but long-run outcomes are much the same between surgery and conservative care. In many cases of stenosis, non-invasive conservative care can help lessen pain and discomfort, maintain joint mobility, and allow the patient to keep a reasonable lifestyle, at least for some time.
Home exercises are a major part of the conservative treatment program. Ultimately, stenosis is a chronic condition that cannot be “cured,” but it often can be improved, and improvement can be maintained over the long term.