Diagnosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the canals within your vertebrae, which can cause compression of the spinal cord and nerves traveling through the spine or narrowing of the foramina where a single nerve exits the spine.
Symptoms: Some people with spinal stenosis have no signs or symptoms, while in others it may cause pain, numbness, decreased muscle strength, and possible bowel and bladder problems. Symptoms often vary depending on location, but typically worsen over time. Spinal stenosis is typically less painful in the morning and gradually worsens throughout the day.
Causes: Although some people with spinal stenosis are born with a small spinal canal, it is most typically caused by age related wear and tear of the spine. Some examples of causes that result in decreased available space of the spinal canal include:
- Overgrowth of bone/bone spurs
- Herniated disks
- Thickened ligaments
- Spinal trauma
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
- Cervical stability and strengthening exercises
- Balance and mobility training
- Functional activity training