Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this morning trying to squeeze this article in thanks to a patient that had to cancel today. Today, I am going to address a condition that I generally see in my older patients known as Spinal Stenosis or Canal Stenosis. This is a condition that is very common, and there is a lot of argument as to what is the best treatment.
Spinal Stenosis, as seen from the image above, is a narrowing of the spinal canal. The stenosis (narrowing) can occur centrally or at the side of the spinal cord. It can be caused by bony or soft tissue encroachment, and it can be something that is acquired during life or something we are born with. As a result, the signs and symptoms for Spinal Stenosis vary widely. For symptoms in the legs to occur, there is generally several different vertebral levels of stenosis involved. The acquired stenosis occurs from bony outgrowths from different part of the vertebra and other degenerative changes. Postoperative stenosis may occur as a result of decompressive surgeries such as a Laminectomy.
These patients come into my office, generally being over the age of 50, complaining of back and leg pain. The pain can be effecting only one side or both sides and is usually diffuse pain. It is common for these patients to complain of leg pain when walking that subsides after 15-20 minutes or rest or maintaining a bent over posture.
As stated before, there are mixed reviews on how to best treat this condition. Surgeons want to perform surgery, pain management doctors ant to perform injections, and guys like me want to try and treat it conservatively. In most cases I manage this condition with the other two doctors. I have a great relationship with the doctors in my community, and I encourage my patients to get the injections from the pain management doctors to control the pain so that I can perform therapies to the back that will help to correct the problem by decompressing the low back. However, I encourage the patient to follow up with the surgeon to make sure we are achieving the results necessary to avoid surgery.
If you are struggling with low back and leg pain, call my office today (480) 366-4041. We can Help!