Dee Why Chiropractor Treatments

Lumbar spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis means the narrowing of one of the canals of the spine. This may be the central spinal canal that houses the spinal cord or the lateral canals that allow the spinal nerves to exit from the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis can be congenital or the much more common cause which is degeneration (holes get smaller with age).

The major causes of spinal stenosis include:

  • Tumours. Abnormal growths within or around the spinal cord and the vertebrae.
  • Spinal injuries. Traumatic injuries may cause fracture or dislocation to the vertebrae.
  • Herniated discs. Intervertebral discs are the cartilage shock absorbers of the spine. The outer layers can rupture and allow material from within the disc to escape and compress the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Bone overgrowth. When the bones of the spine become worn and degenerative spurs can grow out into the spinal canals and cause compression of the nerves. We call these bone overgrowths osteophytes.
  • Thickened ligaments. Thicken ligaments such as the ligamentum flavum occur during the normal ageing process. This can cause spinal stenosis and compression.

Symptoms

The symptoms of spinal stenosis range from nothing to radiating pain, weakness and numbness secondary to compression of the spinal cord or nerves. Cramping can occur in the lower back and legs depending on where on the spine the problem occurs. Bowel and bladder function may become compromised and this must be diagnosed early to prevent long-term complication. Low back pain is common.

Treatment

The treatment of spinal stenosis is determined based on individual circumstances such as the location, nature and severity of the stenosis. Some cases are managed conservatively while others may need surgery to prevent long term complications.

Other causes of low back pain

The following conditions may cause low back pain.

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