Peachtree City, Georgia -
Arrowhead Clinic, a chiropractic clinic serving auto accident victims, has published a new blog post explaining the symptoms, causes, and treatment options available for those suffering from spinal stenosis.
Spinal stenosis, which affects more than 200,000 Americans each year, is caused when the spaces within the spine narrow and put pressure on the nerves running through it. While the condition can occur anywhere along the spine, it most commonly affects the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) regions.
“Think of your spinal cord as a garden hose,” says Dr. Harry Brown, the founder of Arrowhead Clinic. “If the hose bends or crimps in some way, water does not flow freely. Just like stepping on a hose impedes water flow, spinal stenosis causes the nerves passing through the spine to encounter pressure due to narrowing.”
The biggest factor in the development of spinal stenosis is the degenerative changes in the spine as one grows older and the subsequent changes to its structure and structural integrity. With age, the cushioning tissue between the vertebrae is lost to normal wear and tear or misuse. Moreover, those with chronic pain, sports injuries, or a history of manual labor may also develop spinal arthritis, one of the common conditions leading to spinal stenosis.
“Apart from aging,” says Dr. Brown, “injuries like falling, tripping, or being in a car accident can lead to tissue breakdown and lead to spinal stenosis. Other conditions include, but are not limited to, Paget's disease, tumors (benign or cancerous), herniated or nonherniated disc protrusions, epidural lipomatosis, or being genetically predisposed to small spaces between vertebral levels.”
The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area, difficulty with bladder or bowel function, sexual dysfunction, and more. Apart from a physical exam and understanding a patient’s medical history, doctors may even order imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans for a thorough diagnosis.
“Treatment options for spinal stenosis include some non-surgical techniques, medication, physical therapy, and finally, surgery,” says Dr. Brown. “The team of medical experts here at Arrowhead Clinic can recommend the perfect treatment for you based on your medical history and the severity of the damage.”
Physical therapy is one of the common non-surgical options available. Patients may be recommended a customized exercise routine to strengthen the muscles of the spine and reduce the pressure on nerves and the spinal column. Other options include alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and epidural steroid injections.
In some cases, surgery might be the only way forward. In laminectomy or decompression surgery, the surgeon removes part of the lamina (the bony covering over the spinal canal) to create more space for the spinal cord and nerves. Another minimally invasive option available is a laminoplasty where the surgeon creates a hinge on one side of the laminae to move it out of the way rather than remove it altogether.
“Surgical treatments offer faster relief than non-surgical options,” Dr. Brown says, “but they come with their associated risks including infections, blood clots, nerve damage, and hardware problems. Though the decision to go for surgery should not be taken lightly, for some patients it is the only option. To get the correct medical advice for your case, book an appointment at Arrowhead Clinic today and let us help you heal from the pain.”
With 17 clinics across Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, Arrowhead Clinic has been the trusted leader in chiropractic care for car accident injuries and pain conditions for over 45 years. The clinic offers treatment for a wide range of conditions including car accident injuries, back pain, workers’ comp cases, sports injuries, whiplash, and neck pain. The clinic also offers same-day appointments and walk-ins to ensure its patients get the treatment they need when they need it.
Readers can contact Arrowhead Clinic at (800) 961-PAIN for inquiries or to book a free consultation.
Arrowhead Clinic has served Georgia and South Carolina residents with superior chiropractic care for personal injuries and auto accident for over 40 years.
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