Spinal Stenosis

Is the narrowing within the vertebrae of the spinal column that results in too much pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. Spinal stenosis may occur in the neck or back.

Common Causes:

  • Osteoarthrtis is the deterioration of the cartilage between joints. In response to the damage, the body often forms bone spurs to support the area. These spurs may cause pressure on the nerves as they exit the spinal canal.
  • Normal work load and aging factors can result in a flattening of the disks that provide space between each set of vertebrae. This narowed space allows less room for the nerve to exit from the spinal cord, and sometimes pieces of the disk material cause pressure on the nerves.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms, shoulders, trunk and legs.
  • Problems with bowel or bladder function.

How can a Physical Therapist help?

  • Stretching and flexibility exercises to improve mobility in the joints and muscles of your spine and extremities.
  • Strengthening exercises to improve the support of your spinal joints.
  • Manual therapy techniques to improve the mobility of stiff joints and muscles.
  • Decompression therapy techniques/devices to help unload the pressure on your nerves.
  • Posture and body mechanic education.
Wednesday the 30th. Copyright 2012, Three Rivers Hospital