Diagnoses: Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the canals of the vertebrae creating increased pressure on the spinal cord (central stenosis) or the nerve roots (lateral stenosis).
Symptoms: Symptoms might include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs. Severe cases may cause problems with bowel and bladder function.
Causes: Stenosis occurs when the bones do not have enough cushion inbetween them, or if any bone growth decreases the size of the canal. It can also occur if one bone moves forward and narrows the opening. Narrowed space results in less room for nerve roots to exit the spinal cord which can cause nerve compression.
Osteoarthritis is another form of deterioration, resulting in deterioration of cartilage between the joints. In response to such change, the body often develops excess bone, known as bone spurs, to attempt to support the area. This additional bone can further crowd the vertebral canal space results in compression on nerves.
Other spinal trauma, bone diseases, tumors, or ligament changes may also result in spinal stenosis.
Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Goals of physical therapy will ultimately be to teach the patient techniques for pain reduction allowing increased ability in performance of functional activities.
- Mechanical diagnoses/treatment for improved movement and pain reduction by opening up space in the narrowed joint.
- Postural education and awareness
- Core stability and strengthening exercises
- Balance and mobility training
- Functional activity training