What is Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal Stenosis can be a scary, life-changing diagnosis. Many people may experience pain and numbness in their arms, hands, legs, or feet, and in severe cases, bowel and bladder dysfunction. But why? How is it that the boney parts of your spine could have such a massively negative impact on all of these aspects of life?
Each vertebra has a hole in the center running from top to bottom called the Neural Canal which is the housing for the cord. In addition, the Intervertebral Foramen is the holes on either side of the spine and are created by the vertebra above, the disc, and the vertebra below. Disc bulges, bone spurs, calcification of ligaments, and fusions can compress the cord, peripheral nerves, or both, leading to a diagnosis of spinal stenosis. These will compromise the peripheral nerves or the cord itself, the pressure of which interrupts signals from the brain, negatively altering its function.
While this is a progressive condition with no known cure, there are ways to manage and significantly slow its progression. First and foremost is to get adjusted regularly. By keeping the vertebra freely moveable they are less inclined to fuse. Along this same train of thought are spinal traction and decompression. By applying a tractional force, ie. pulling the vertebra apart, we are able to reduce the compressive load on the spine and the discs so as to increase the space between them.
"a rolling stone gathers no moss, an object in motion will remain in motion, don't rest on your laurels."