Spinal Stenosis Spinal stenosis is a condition which affects many people and happens when the space around the spinal cord becomes narrowed.
This occurs most commonly in the lumbar region, but can occur in the cervical region too.
As the space becomes narrow, there may be pressure on the spinal cord and also the supporting blood and nerve supplies too. This will then affect levels below the area of restriction.
The main reason for the narrowing is wear and tear due to arthritic change. Arthritis can lead to bony outgrowths on your joints and thickening of ligaments too, which can encroach the spinal canal.
Sometimes vertebral collapse can also cause this as a result of trauma or osteoporosis.
It is common for patients who have stenosis to present with back and/or leg pain which may affect 1 or both legs. The pain tends to be worse when walking, especially a distance and is eased by sitting, resting or bending forwards. Often people will mention their symptoms ease when they push the supermarket trolley. It is more common in the older ager groups, due to degenerative change, but can also occur as a result of other underlying conditions like Ankylosing Spondylitis or Paget’s disease.
Osteopathic treatment, although not altering the underlying condition, can help to improve function and mobility, alongside prescriptive exercise to ease pressure on the spinal cord. Patients will often respond favourably with this approach and it can help reduce the need for surgical intervention.